Counseling Corner

LPC Welcome to ERAU! You have just begun one of the first major life transitions that you will experience as a young adult. Most students find that college is a new and exciting adventure, but one that may come with a few challenges along the way. Here are 15 tips to help you succeed at ERAU

1. Go to all orientations. Do you really need to go on yet another campus tour? Yes. The faster you learn your way around campus — and around all the red tape — the more at ease you’ll feel and the better prepared you’ll be when issues arise.

2. Get to know your roommate and others in your residence hall. The people you live with, most of whom are going through similar experiences and emotions, are your main safety net — not only this year, but for all your years.

3. Get Organized. In high school, the teachers tended to lead you through all the homework and due dates. In college, the professors post the assignments — often for the entire semester — and expect you to be prepared. Buy an organizer, a PDA, a big wall calendar — whatever it takes for you to know when assignments are due.

4. Find the ideal place for you to study. It may be your dorm room or a cozy corner of the library, but find a place that works best for you to get your work done while avoiding as many distractions as possible.

5. Go to class. Obvious, right? Maybe, but sleeping in and skipping that 8 a.m. class will be tempting at times. Avoid the temptation. Besides learning the material by attending classes, you’ll also receive vital information from the professors about what to expect on tests, changes in due dates, etc…

6. Become an expert on course requirements and due dates. Professors spend time preparing your course syllabi and calendars so that you will know exactly what is expected of you and when. One of the lamest excuses a student can give a professor: “I didn’t know it was due today.”

7. Meet with your professors. Speaking as a professor, I can assure you there are only upsides to getting to know your professors, especially if later in the semester you run into some snags. Professors schedule office hours for the sole purpose of meeting with students. Take advantage of that time!

8. Seek a balance. College life is a mixture of social and academic happenings. Don’t tip the balance too far in either direction.

9. Get involved on campus. A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group — and be careful not to go overboard — of student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You’ll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.

10. Strive for good grades. Another obvious one here, right? Remember while good grades could have come naturally to you in high school, you will have to earn them in college — and that means setting realistic goals for yourself and then making sure you work as hard as you can to achieve them.

11. Take advantage of the study resources on campus. Use ERAU tutoring services or form a study group.

12. Stay healthy/eat right. A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven’t heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra “Freshman 15” pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.

13. Learn to cope with homesickness. It’s only natural that there will be times when you miss your family, even if you were one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get away. Find a way to deal with those feelings, such as making a phone call or sending some email home.

14. Seek professional help when you need it. Make an appointment with a counselor at the Wellness Center Counseling Services. If you’re sick or feeling isolated or depressed, please take advantage of the many services this office provide students. You don’t have to face these issues by yourself.

15. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed. There’s a lot going on in your life right now. Expect to have moments where it seems a bit too much. As one student says, be prepared to feel completely unprepared. The trick is knowing that you’re not the only one feeling that way.

You have done all the prep work, you have gotten good grades in high school, scored well on a standardized test, and have been accepted into ERAU! So enjoy all your hard work. Be determined to make it through your freshman year and beyond. Take advantage of all ERAU has to assist you.

ERAU Counseling Services is available, and fortunately, for ALL students here at ERAU, counseling is free! Counseling Services is located at the Wellness Center, Building 73, in Haas Commons. Counseling services can provide a confidential and secure place to help you figure it all out!

One-on-one and couples counseling is available to fit your needs. Making an appointment to see a counselor on campus is easy! Just stop by or call the Wellness Center (928) 777 6653.

Don’t forget to “LIKE US” on Facebook www.facebook.com/erauprescottwellnesscenter

Final Approach

Counseling Corner: Preventing “The Fever”

Spring fever is easy to recognize at ERAU. As soon as the temperature reaches the mid 60’s, spring fever hits the campus and spreads like wildfire! It is typically characterized by the following symptoms:

 

■      Feelings of restlessness

■      Procrastination

■      Lethargy

■      Lack of focus, motivation, and drive

■      Loose sense of time

■      Increased outdoor activity

■      Emptier classrooms

■      Drop in grades

Spring fever may not be so bad if you are a senior and on your way out the door anyway, but if you are still an underclassman, “the fever” can severely bite you and your GPA in the butt! Don’t fall victim to this end of the year trap. Just because your friends decide to ditch class doesn’t mean that you should join them! Plenty of students have lost scholarships, graduate school admissions, job offers, and even internship offers because of a bad case of the fever.

It is indeed the end of the year, but far from over. Spring fever is contagious, but can be prevented. Here are five strategies to help prevent “the fever” and to help you keep your grades on track and maximize your college fun!

1. Create a game plan

Take a moment to map out your class requirements and deadlines for the rest of the semester. Create a realistic timeline and add in your social commitments. Be willing to modify your timeline each day to be sure you are on track. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall off course – just recalculate and begin again.

2. Strike a deal

Negotiate with yourself. Finish one academic task and reward yourself with a social activity. Consider tackling the most dreaded task or hurdle first, and enjoy spring even more as you check one more academic “to do” off your list.

3. Add an extra hour

Beautiful warm weather can make you want to skip the books and play. Try getting up an hour earlier before temptation strikes. Hit the library or your computer for a quick 60-minute workout that’ll put you ahead of the game.

4. Take it outside

Remember those glossy college brochure photos of students happily studying on campus? That could be you! Find a beautiful tree and practice posing while you rehearse your upcoming speech or prep for that dreaded final. You’ll get a leg up on those academic accomplishments, while indulging in a little Spring Fever.

5. Everything in moderation

Some clichés are just plain true. Everything in moderation. Find a little balance, use a little strategy, and you’re likely to find happiness and success as you finish up this semester.

Note:  The counseling office is located in Haas Commons, Building 73. Making an appointment to see the counselor on campus is easy! Just call the Wellness Center at 928.777.6653 and indicate that you would like to set an appointment with a counselor. Counseling Services is committed to helping you make the most out of your college career!

Final Approach

Counseling Corner: Safe Spring Break Planning

The Wellness Center encourages you to have a safe Spring Break this year. Whatever your plans are, make sure they include these tips:

On the road… Buckle up! Your seatbelt is your best protection in a crash. Also, take turns behind the wheel and whoever sits shotgun should stay awake to keep the driver company. Make sure everyone has a valid driver’s license and the vehicle registration is in the car before driving off.

In hotels… Reserve a room that is above the first floor but below the sixth floor. Why? First floor rooms are easier to break into, and rooms above the sixth floor are sometimes too high for fire ladders to reach.

At the ATM… Try to go to the ATM in groups, but avoid getting overly complacent about safety just because you’re travelling in numbers. Also, try to go during the daylight hours. When you approach the ATM, do a 360 degree scan, looking completely around to see if anyone is hanging out where they shouldn’t be. If someone is creeping you out, go to another ATM.

If drinking… If you choose to party, party smart, be responsible. Pace yourself if you choose to drink and avoid hard alcohol or other drinks that are powerful and have fast effects. Impairment begins with the first drink. Choose not to drink if you are driving, or be safe with a designated driver. Remember, drunks equal easy targets. Also, be aware of alcohol poisoning. According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75 percent of college males and 43 percent of females reported being intoxicated on a daily basis during spring break. If you decide to drink, know the liquor laws of wherever you’ll be vacationing.

On the beach… Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol, so keep this in mind if you party on the beach. Take it slow and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you start feeling faint or lightheaded, get some shade and water immediately. Don’t be a lobster… use sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapply often.

While swimming… Jumping into the water without a lifeguard is putting yourself at risk. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught in an undertow. In case you get caught in a rip current, don’t bother swimming against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until the rip passes. Try to stay within the designated swimming area and always swim with a friend.

In the hot tub… Drinking in the hot tub might sound like a good idea, since pretty much every MTV video makes it look sexy and glamorous, but MTV isn’t an educational resource (shocker!). Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning. Overall, a bad idea.

Hooking up… Don’t believe the hype. Not everyone is doing it. But if you do choose to have sex, make sure it’s protected. See [SmarterSex.org] for more safe sex tips.

Have a great and Safe Spring Break!!

 

ERAU Counseling Services is available, and fortunately, for ALL students here at ERAU, counseling is a free! Counseling Services is located at the Wellness Center, Building 73, in Haas Commons. Counseling services can provide a confidential and secure place to help you figure it all out!

One-on-one and couples counseling is available to fit your needs. Making an appointment to see a counselor on campus is easy! Just stop by or call the Wellness Center (928) 777 6653.

 

 

Final Approach

Counseling Corner: Mindfulness

…annoyed by having too much to do?

…squeezed by looming deadlines or financial pressure?

…frustrated by other people at school or work?

…disappointed by a friend or family member?

If you are having stressful experiences, you could be doing a lot of negative thinking and judging. It is human nature to focus on the negative and judge others, which can increase stress and lead to discontent and disease.

Not to worry. There is an antidote to stress in life during the twenty-first century.

The practice of mindfulness can bring many benefits to your emotional and physical health, as well as to the relationships in your life. Research indicates that it can promote health by reducing activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn dilates the blood vessels, and reduces stress hormones. Research indicates that it can increase academic performance, and actually increase IQ scores while decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression.

What is mindfulness?

You probably won’t find one true definition because the experience varies by culture and personal experience. Virtually all cultures around the globe have some version of what we collectively refer to as mindfulness. It might involve Eastern traditions of meditation, Western traditions of prayer, or totally secular experiences of simply living in the present moment. Mindfulness is characterized by non-evaluative and sustained moment-to-moment awareness of perceptible mental states and processes. This includes continuous, immediate awareness of physical sensations, perceptions, affective states, thoughts, and imagery. Mindfulness is non-deliberative; that is, it just implies a sustained focus to ongoing mental content without thinking about, comparing or in other ways evaluating the ongoing mental phenomena that arise during periods of practice. The essence of mindfulness is about:

  • Awareness
  • Presence
  • “Being” rather than “Doing”
  • Quieting the mind
  • Stillness
  • Attentiveness
  • Non-judgmental noticing

Jon Kabat Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His practice of yoga and studies of Eastern philosophies led him to integrate their teachings with those of Western science. He developed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction which teaches mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness. It is offered at medical centers, hospitals and health maintenance organizations throughout the country.

An easy way to begin is to focus on the body starting at one end and moving all the way through to the other while noting breathing and any areas of discomfort. Pay attention to what is going on at that moment. What do you feel, hear, taste, see, and smell? When a thought about the past or future does come to mind, acknowledge, but don’t dwell on it, and just let it go.

Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” His book, “Full Catastrophe Living”, details his program which includes a daily practice of 45 minutes of sitting and watching the breath.

 

 

 

Another mindfulness expert is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, poet and peace activist. Nhat Hanh has published more than 100 books and travels internationally to give retreats and talks on mindfulness and promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.

Nhat Hanh’s approach has been to combine a variety of traditional Zen teachings with insights and methods from other Buddhist traditions, and ideas from Western psychology—to offer a modern light on meditation practice. “Mindfulness helps you go home to the present,” he believes, “and every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes.”

There’s a lot of pressure to be a perfectionist in our pursuits. You don’t have to subscribe to a method, attend a retreat, or internalize someone else’s idea of how to be mindful. Mindfulness can be practiced virtually anywhere and anytime and all you need is you. It’s about just showing up to the moment.

Pick a flower. Explore its perfect imperfections. Engage your senses by smelling the flower, feeling its petals, noticing how your feet come into contact with the floor, the entire experience of just being in that moment. You’re not trying to control or prevent your thoughts. Thoughts will pass through your mind but you’re learning that your attention doesn’t have to get carried with them. When you notice your attention has wandered, simply bring yourself back to the present moment.

Next time you take a shower, just notice what it’s like to be under the warm water. Can you become so attuned to the moment that you feel individual droplets hitting your skin? Notice the sound of the water and the temperature. Notice the tension in your body melting away. You’re not placing judgment on the water – it’s not good or bad or ugly – it just is. You don’t label your method of showering as right or wrong, right? You just do it. Exactly. You are practicing mindfulness.

 

 

 

ERAU Counseling Services is free for ALL students here at ERAU! Making an appointment to see a counselor on campus is easy! Just stop by or call the Wellness Center (928) 777 6653.

Don’t forget to “LIKE US” on Facebook www.facebook.com/erauprescottwellnesscenter

 

Final Approach

Counseling Corner: Post-Holiday Recovery

Coming back after winter break can be rough. For most of us, going back to the rigors of academia can be a huge adjustment. Over the course of break, most likely, your mind has been turned into goop from not having to do or think as much. Now… you are beginning to remember just how hard you worked the first semester, only to be dragged back from a fun break, to start the work over again. While relaxation is much needed, going straight back into the grind of school can be a major shock, and for some of us, it can be tough. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your post-holiday recovery won’t leave you off-track or falling behind:

Get Up Early

Over the break, college students tend to stay up late, and then naturally get up late. This cycle can’t last if you have an early morning class. Many students feel it is a lot easier just to stay in “holiday break” mode, even if that means missing classes, in the first few weeks. The dark mornings and cool weather in Prescott can make this difficult, so make a schedule and stick to it!

Organize, Organize, Organize

This is the time to make a schedule for organizing your course work, studying, and socializing. Time management is key in just about any environment. So remember…the student who plans ahead and who gets organized will start the semester out right.

Study, Study, Study

Chances are the first couple of weeks back on campus will be a cakewalk in your coursework. You are just acclimating yourself to the new subjects, and your professors are trying to figure out who actually cares about their course.
This is a good time to shine! It may not seem like such a big deal to start building your credibility with your professor, but this is the ideal time. By putting in an above average amount of effort right off the bat, the professor will see you in a better light all semester.
Also, if you study more and bolster your grade early on in the semester, guess what you don’t have to do as much later on?

Think, Think, Think

For the last nugget of advice, I suggest that you simply think about what a new semester means for you. It can be a chance to correct all of our mistakes from the fall, or just keep doing what worked for you before.
ERAU Counseling Services is available, and fortunately, for all students here at ERAU, counseling is free! Counseling Services is located at the Wellness Center, Building 73, in Haas Commons. Counseling services can provide a confidential and secure place to help you figure it all out!
One-on-one and couples counseling are available to fit your needs. Making an appointment to see a counselor on campus is easy! Just stop by or call the Wellness Center 928.777.6653.

 

 

Final Approach