CoreBrain Makes A Serious Point: College Transitions Need Attention
The college guy in this picture is smiling, and being brave about it. Mom is having a hard time. Mom is closer to the truth in 2012 – because college just isn’t all roses any more. There are no guarantees.
He, as most leaving for college, wants his parents to feel proud, and not to worry – “I’ll be alright.” But in my offices over the many years of watching this passing scene crank up every May, and you know what I’m going to say, it gets very busy at our psych offices. May is one of our busiest months. Transition complications abound.
It Ain’t Easy
Too often transition to college isn’t pretty or easy. College transition contains serious pitfalls for everyone, as the rules of employment, the rules of relationships, and the basic web of dream-making is so different than it was even in the 90′s. College prep clearly isn’t college prep in this current context of real obstacles in those former well dredged channels. Old navigation maps often don’t work in these dark waters after several economic storms.
Many families now protect their children even more from inevitable change, and when that college change happens the entire system can crack, – and that crack often marks the deterioration of their beloved adolescent who freezes while looking down the road of days and those times ahead. Future shock can paralyze even those with the best academic records in high school. [Download this interesting digital book by Seth Godin on this same topic What Matters Now .]
We all had to leave, but national statistics show that far too many college bound folks just aren’t up to the task of college and life transition. They may wish for it, but they can’t do it. They don’t get married, they hang at home, they don’t work, they remain stuck at some level of innocence and not coping with reality, much to the dismay of aging parents who hoped for some freedom in later years. Mostly men [18.6% - almost 1 in 5!] show the problem as 1.4 million [!] more guys ages 25-34 are living at home in 2011 since 2007 – a 4.4% increase [women remained quite steady at 10% but that's still 1 in 10 who just can't grow up and cope!]. The numbers are big, and we’ve all seen this phenomenon, even with families close to us.
Why The Problem Increase Now
But why is that change such a problem now? It’s about common sense, self-reliance, and the increasing complexity of our daily reality. If you aren’t thinking, if you aren’t trained to think critically [as I've been advocating for years] you can rapidly find yourself awash in a maelstrom of psychobabble and mind games. Yes, most current psychiatric therapies manifest as neo-Freudian passive mind games that let the client drift in frets and failure, rather than problem-solving, or the use of active coaching to move forward. Passive listening is the most prevalent psych game, fiddling while Rome burns.
Mental health practice as an overall process often appears to not-know-what-to-do about college transition.
I see this infuriating game played out everyday from second and third opinions in my office from all over the country where those practicing psychiatry and “mental health” appear, from detailed patient reports, to seek some kind of arcane transference interpretation in once a week psychotherapy. The patient is lost for years tasked with chasing internal answers, while obvious reality challenges receive not a single moment of insightful attention. The dream of deep analysis appears to lead to a pervasive denial, at least a dismissive view, of reality. The pain of real topic-neglect is pervasive, and regularly difficult to watch.
Unrecognized Or Unmanaged
As a recognized national authority on matters associated with ADHD recognition and ADHD medical treatment I can report with considerable certainty that these moments of ADHD college transition become especially challenging. If, on the one hand, you have ADHD and it escaped recognition based upon insufficient diagnostic criteria at play in your home town, transition to college becomes precarious. On the other hand, transition to college creates even more vulnerability for someone already treated for ADHD in HS who remains ambivalent about medical treatment, negative about being told what to do, mercurial about meds, doesn’t like the doctor, and lives in the throws of “I’m an adult/18 and don’t need anyone.”
Our extensive experience with ADHD treatment and management addresses all of those concerns in the T2CC or the T2CH Programs. Our requisite goal of self reliance matches those student wishes every time.
You Won’t Need A Shrink If You Develop A Solid Plan
In fact Transition to College often becomes completely overwhelming if you don’t have a plan - a plan that can work every day. Just raising them right often isn’t sufficient nowadays, as the real world variables have increased measurably. Doing “what comes naturally” just isn’t as effective as in the past – and I’ve repeatedly seen this unhappy deterioration in the most educated, the most balanced and loving families.
Love often doesn’t cover reality.
Transition pressures that Junior year of High School herald one of the worst times in psych office for academic alerts: must-see-you-right-now-we-have-a-big-problem! May is crunch time in the real world, the seasons are changing, and migration-thinking begins to stalk those families in departure denial. I can’t guess the specific numbers, but from this May to next May the urgency most often comes in our offices either from high school seniors who “don’t know what they’re doing to do,” or college folks who turn inside out and become depressed without internalized college maps that freshman year away.
But honestly, is all that concern enough to push someone to consult a shrink, even before leaving home? What could a shrink do – meds, psychobabble? Not my kid, thank you, that’s not what my successful adolescent needs. Let’s face it, they really don’t have an “emotional problem” – so just what do they need?
A Workable Answer For That Senior Year in High School
Yes, you did get it - I am not for deep psychoanalysis in these matters of adjustment to change. I don’t think the Oedipus complex will help that guy find a job, or do well in school without clear objectives. I do think that if we start in High School with a plan, a viable, reality based Real Life college-preparation program, we can help those budding students, help those smiling faces, manage their realities more effectively. I wish they had this program for me when I was a kid, I certainly could have used it!
CoreBrain T2CC and T2CH | Transition to College Programs | C=College, H=High School
I put these two programs together [one for each side of that transition coin] because I know our team can make them work for any college bound kids out there – wherever they live – even in Possum Hollow, NC. These programs are coaching based – not counseling – customized planning and training, not do-you-love-your-mother?CoreBrain Transition to College Programs provide maps, real plans to deliver the best reality training in the most effective doses – through short videos, real structure, hands on dialogue, and easily digested real discussions on a team learning basis.