Month: September 2016

Making the Mental Transition into College

Often times when teenagers think about college they think shorter classes/ days and no more restrictions. In the article second paragraph it says “college comes with a new found level of freedom, but that also means a degree of responsibility.” Freedom is a word that holds a lot of power and when people come to college all that power is now put into tcollege-vs-hsheir hands weather they realize it or not. Therefore, being able to make a choice to go to class instead of being told you have to go to class now becomes something that you as a college student has control of. This sort of responsibility comes with choices. With these choices you will have repercussions and in the end it is all up to you how you want them to turn out. With this kind of pressure put on someone transitioning into college for the first time, it can be a lot to deal with. This is why you have to be mentally prepared as well physical. The change will not be easy, but it will be worth it.

This article has helped me think about things that would be great to include in my on-going writing about my current topic. I admire how although transition into college is a big area in my life, I also want to acknowledge that transition happens at every state of our life. It is something that helps us grow and sometimes we do not even realize it. With transition we can safely say that we are all endlessly creating ourselves.

 

MyCollegeGuide.org, By. “Making the Mental Transition from High School to College | My College Guide.” My College Guide Making the Mental Transition from High School to College Comments. College Guide, 01 May 2016. Web. 25 Sept. 2016. <http://mycollegeguide.org/blog/2011/12/making-mental-transition-high-school-college/>.

Something New To Me

As a first year student who attended virtual school online, I have not had to work in a group for a grade. I have always been used to working alone and completing my work at my own paste.  Therefore, when this semester long project was presented to me in class, I did feel lots of pressure and stress. Pressure about if my work and or writing is good or will it be good enough to meet the standards of my professor. As I search for different sources I struggle to find good ones. I don’t want them to just be someone’s option of what it is like to transition from high school to college. I would like to find sources that people can not only relate too but that people use on a daily basis. I think I am getting the hang of finding sources online. However, my step will be to look in books, newspapers and magazines to find more articles.

One thing that I have noticed since I have been reading the different articles that I have come across is that I am going through a lot of what they are explaining. I personally feel that transition into a new place is difficult and different for everyone. However, at some point everyone must experience the stress and anxiety of a new place, new people and new environment.

Student Success – Treatment Retention Rates

When it comes to addiction, starting treatment is often the biggest step to overcome. It takes both courage and motivation to give up the life one knows at the moment in exchange for an entirely new one. The thought of living without the substance one has grown so dependent on is scary, but the promise of a better life motivates many to seek treatment. Once a patient has started treatment, they tend to stay on that treatment and successfully finish as long as they retain their original motivation. When it comes to college students, most are less likely to seek treatment simply because they do not see a need for it. However, according to the current study, students are more likely than their non-student peers to finish treatment once they begin. Not only that, but students tend to succeed in recovery with shorter treatment lengths than non-students.

The implications of this study have a huge effect in potentially transforming the way colleges and universities approach substance abuse problems on campus. The fact that college students were more likely to stay and successfully complete treatment indicates that most have the motivation, whether it be internal or external from friends and family, to get help. Colleges should therefore focus their attention on the diagnostic stage by helping students understand that their party habits may not be as normal and harmless as they thought. If students understand the issue at hand, they will feel more confident in admitting that they have a problem and a need to seek treatment.

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https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-DzYy7vVZpM/hqdefault.jpg

Sahker, E., Acion, L., & Arndt, S. “National Analysis of Differences Among Substance Abuse Treatment Outcomes: College Student and Nonstudent Emerging Adults.” Journal of American College Health, vol. 63, no. 2, 2015, pp. 118-124.

Step 1 – Admitting You Have a Problem

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For those who see college as a middle ground between high school and true adulthood, the four years spent on campus are often excluded from “the real world.” It is instead a time to expand one’s boundaries and explore new things. This can be a dangerous way to view the college experience, leading to feelings of invincibility and a lack of concern for one’s well-being. According to the article, college students are far less likely to perceive that they have a substance abuse problem compared to their non-student peers. The normality of drugs and alcohol at college parties has led to a misunderstanding of substance abuse when it comes to students. What many students see as a normal rite of passage in college is actually the textbook definition of drug and alcohol abuse. However, their feelings of being excluded from “the real world” and the social pressures placed upon them by their peers make students far less likely to admit they have an addiction.

This article provides valuable insight into the issues with drug and alcohol abuse specifically on college campuses. Students are in an entirely different scenario than non-students at risk of substance abuse, despite having similar symptoms. For this reason, students deserve to be treated as a different population with unique concerns. With the small percentage of students who actually recognize and seek help for their substance abuse, it is clear that they require a different approach. The classic “how many drinks per night, per week” questions frequently used to diagnose alcohol addiction somehow seem to escape the minds of college students reflecting on their partying habits. In order to get students to recognize and admit they have a problem is going to require changes in substance abuse education and monitoring.

Caldeira, K. M., Kasperski, S. J., Sharma, E., Vincent, K. B., O’Grady, K. E., Wish, E. D., & Arria, A. M. “College Students Rarely Seek Help despite Serious Substance Use Problems.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 37, 2009, pp. 368–378.

What is Transition Planning?

The word transition means to smoothly move from one place into another. This can be many places in your life, however, the most common place where transition happens is right after high-school to college and from college to the work place. This article talks about what transition is, the different stages of transition, transition into the workplace and into adulthood. In the article it talks about how transition does not only happen with the amount of work you encounter but it also happens in your environment. Also mentioned in the article is transition planning and how time, effort and quality affects you later in life. You get what you put in. Often times when planning out such things as the next step of your life, setting goals become a big factor. Short term goals are great because they are quite easy to reach, however when a person sets a long term goal he or she refers more to the future. As stated in the article (paragraph 3, bullet points 1-3) The three main areas that must be discussed when you proceed to plan a change or a goal aka a transition in your life are: What is your long term goal in the area of post-secondary education or training? This is talking about your very next step out of high school. Second main area is what is your long term goal in the area of employment? This is talking about your job that you are striving to get with your knowledge from the post-secondary education or training. The final area is what is your long term goal in the area of independent living/ community participation? This last goal is talking about how are you going to provide steady living for yourself? The thing that I noticed about all three areas is that you cannot have one without the other.

“Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center.” CPAC. Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, Inc, 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 09 Sept. 2016.

Just the Beginning

As a student who has already received lectures on finding peer-reviewed sources and has visited the library’s research consultant, I was not too intimidated by the involvement of research in the first major assignment of the course. In fact, I found myself overwhelmed by the wide array of resources available relating to my chosen topic, substance abuse in college. Upon beginning my research, however, I nearly forgot to look at popular sources such as videos, magazines, and other articles that would not be considered appropriate in many other assignments requiring research. It has been ingrained in my head that these kinds of sources are not acceptable, therefore I didn’t think to look at them. Even though there were a number of peer-reviewed scholarly sources on my topic, I found it refreshing to remind myself to explore all aspects of the issue rather than only scholarly journals and papers.

My main concern at this moment in the research process is staying organized. I tend to easily get overwhelmed when I have a lot of sources to sift through, especially when I am unclear which sources will be useful and which will not. I am already trying to decide what I want the argument of my final paper to be so that I know which sources I should and should not save. However, this method is not effective when constructing an argument because it is important to acknowledge all aspects of an argument before choosing your own stance. For now, the application Mendeley has helped me remain organized as the volume of sources I gather increases.

Top of the Charts – Princeton’s Top Party Schools

Each year, The Princeton Review releases lists crowning the best school in overall rankings, value, and other major headings. More popular among both current and prospective students, however, is the annual list of the top “party schools.” For many students, having a social life is one of the top priorities when it comes to feeling comfortable and making new friends at school. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this as a priority, issues arise when a large portion of social gatherings involve drugs and alcohol. Even those who have never used such substances before may find themselves trying them out of curiosity or peer pressure. Most campuses are aware of this issue and enforce strict laws regarding drugs and alcohol, but they have little control over what happens at gatherings off campus.

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http://www.freakonomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/WVU-1024×682.jpg

As a university much too familiar with Princeton’s Top Party Schools ranking, West Virginia University is famous for their often rowdy student parties.  For the past ten years, WVU has consistently made the list of the top ten party schools in the nation. The school has made an effort to educate their students about substance abuse by dedicating a portion of the health center’s website to the topic. Included on the page are facts about substance abuse, how to recognize if you or a friend have a substance abuse problem, and how to seek help to treat the issue. By doing this, WVU has taken effort to combat substance abuse and potentially help students who are willing to receive the assistance.

 

“Substance Abuse and Treatment.” WellWVU, N.p., n.d. Web. Accessed 10 Sept. 2016.

Stress. Drink. Repeat.

As young adults transitioning from high school to a lifelong career, college students are swarmed with responsibilities. It is easy to feel lost in a new environment, which is only worsened by the high expectations placed upon the students by their parents, professors, and even themselves. This can take a major toll on a student’s health and worsen feelings of stress and anxiety. Researchers studied a sample of college students and measured their ability to handle stress effectively, otherwise known as their distress tolerance. The researchers also studied how stress affects a person’s likelihood of partaking in destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and gambling.  This type of behavior, referred to as negative urgency, has proven to be one of the most effective methods of measuring a person’s susceptibility to substance abuse.

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http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sober-life/files/2016/04/Alcoholism-Jerry-Nelson.jpg

This article provides insight into the psychological reasons behind substance abuse in college students, though the testing measures could easily be carried over into other populations. As a common issue across campuses nationwide, college healthcare centers are well aware of the high risk for substance abuse that students face. By using some of the methods mentioned in this article, colleges may be able to implement new ways of screening at-risk individuals. This would allow them to potentially prevent drug and alcohol problems, or at least catch them early on, to prevent detrimental consequences to the health and safety of students.

 

Kaiser, A. J., Milich, R., Lynam, D. R., & Charnigo, R. J. “Negative Urgency, Distress Tolerance, and Substance Abuse among College Students.” Addictive Behaviors, vol. 37, no. 10, 2012, pp. 1075-1083.