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Top 10 Issues Facing College Freshman

The Top 10 College Freshman Issues outlined by College Mental Health speaker and MTV MADE Celebrity Teen and Family Life Coach, Jeff Yalden.

1. Expectations: They're greater than you can imagine and perfection amongst our young people has really added to the stress of every day life, but don't they know perfection doesn't exist?  Nope.

Listen, expect to feel overwhelmed, but know that you are not alone.  College is what you've spent years hearing about and it has suddenly appeared.  Relax.  These will be some of the best years of your life and now you are getting to experience it.  College life can also be one of the most difficult days of your life too.  Sorry.

For the past 15 years, my challenge is to find a speaker that can captivate the attention of college age students regarding mental illness and suicide. Jeff Yalden surpassed any expectations sharing his story and experiences to over 100 students. I watched these students listen intently as they absorbed the reality of these topics. Jeff’s passion for this topic is contagious and this was evident when a line of students formed following the presentation to receive bracelets that said “Take Time to Think”, and ask questions. A true testament was when a student asked if he could have the bracelet Jeff was wearing. Jeff’s delivery commanded respect and admiration from all who attended. I highly recommend that Jeff be incorporated in any programs regarding the topic of mental illness and suicide.
— Nicole Ovedia, LCSW Licensed Psychotherapist Director of Lynn University Counseling Center

New friends, new home, new classes, new routine... exciting and overwhelming at the same time. If you experience feelings of sadness and loneliness, don't worry-these feelings are normal and usually pass within the first few months of school.  What should you do?  Well, for one, get involved in campus activities, use social media to help stay connected with your friends and family back home, and form study groups.  Get involved and don't spend too much time on social media.

2. Roommates:  Welcome to sharing a dorm room.  Have you had to share a room before?  How about a college dorm size room? 

Living with others can be challenging. Work through conflicts by regularly communicating with your roommate(s) and setting rules for the room or suite that everyone can agree on. You and your roommate don't have to be best friends; the important thing to remember is to respect one another.

3. Drinking: Drinking, for some students, is part of the college experience. If you're not interested in drinking, there are many other things you can do that don't involve alcohol like having a game night, going to a comedy club, seeing a movie or checking out a concert. First and foremost, make sure you are of the legal age to drink. If you decide to drink it is important to remember to be smart and stay safe. Never accept a drink from a stranger, know your limits, and stick with your friends.

4. Freshman 15 (Urban Legend or not?): The "Freshman 15" may be an exaggeration but it is no myth that people can get out of shape during their freshman year. Eating lots of junk food and drinking too much alcohol as well as sugary beverages can cause you to pack on the pounds. Remember to eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise so you can stay fit!

5. Sleep: Sleep is vital! If you don't get enough sleep, it can affect your class work and grades. You'll have to work harder to get through assignments and have less energy to enjoy time with friends. Recharge your body by cutting down on the caffeinated beverages and getting at least eight to nine hours of sleep each night.

6. Money: Everyone knows that the average college student is on a tight budget. Fortunately, many restaurants, movie theaters, and museums offer student discounts. Be creative-it is possible to have fun without spending a lot of money! If tuition is a problem, visit your campus career center for help. Be careful with credit cards-it is very easy to get into debt, so spend wisely and avoid impulse purchases.

7. Homesickness: Freshmen struggle with homesickness whether half an hour away from home or at a campus across the country. Keep in touch with your family and old friends, but be sure to be a part of the campus community and make new friends at school. As time passes and the campus feels more comfortable, your homesickness will lessen.

8. Sex and Sexuality: If you are sexually active, remember to stay safe. Go to your health center to get more information on safer sex practices. Even if you trust your partner, you may not know his or her entire sexual history. If you have questions about your sexuality, talk to a campus counselor or a trusted family member or friend.

9. Schoolwork: Remember why you are here in the first place? Set aside a certain time each day devoted to studying. Studying with other classmates can help you meet people and get better grades. Set realistic goals for yourself. If you feel stressed out, take a break, stretch, exercise, or call a friend. Avoid pulling all-nighters. It can interfere with the quality of your work as well as your mood and attentiveness in other classes.

10. Organization: At home you have your parents, teachers and coaches to provide you with structure, schedules and timelines for completing homework assignments. College professors may give you all of your assignments for the semester on the first day of class! There is an expectation that you will manage your time, resources and workload effectively.

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I want you to enjoy college life and learn to practice self-care.  These are important times in your life where you are growing and adulting.  Take it one day at a time.

Follow Jeff on Social Media:

@JeffYalden


Suicide Prevention Hotline

In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.


Who is Jeff Yalden:

Jeff Yalden is an expert consultant in the area of technology and how it relates to our mental health working with young people, educators, mental health professionals, and school communities.  Jeff speaks at conferences, colleges and universities, talking to both students, parents, educators, guidance counselors, mental health professionals, counselors, therapists, doctors, and psychotherapists about the on-line world and how technology can best be used for our optimal well-being.  

Jeff Yalden is highly regarded as North America’s number one Teen Mental Health Speaker. He is also a leading Suicide Crisis Intervention Expert and Suicide Prevention trainer, having worked with hundreds of school communities – teens, educators, and parents world-wide.

He is a four-time Amazon bestselling author, including his recent book, BOOM! One Word to Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day. 

His Mental Health & Motivation: The Unlikely Life Coach Podcast attracts thousands of subscribers each month, due in large part to his hard-hitting and from-the-heart approach to motivation, self-improvement and his straight talk to families, teens and those interested in making real changes in their lives. 

Jeff Yalden is a former two-time Marine-of-the-Year recipient and a man that lives with mental illness. He’s a tell-it-like-it-is advocate for rising up each day and not being a victim, who combines credible content with a butt-kicking-take-responsibility approach to damn near everything in your life. He’s a 25 year professional speaker on motivation and mental health, bestselling author, celebrity teen and a family life coach, and radio personality.

From 2005-2011, Jeff was featured as a celebrity teen and family life coach on MTV’s long-running reality show, MADE, and has appeared in numerous print, radio, and television interviews nationwide, including FOX, CBS, NBC, SPIKETV, A&E, and The Oprah Network. 

Jeff has a non-profit foundation, The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) that brings awareness and suicide prevention to school communities in a crisis situation.  

For more information, media inquiries, and speaking engagements, please visit (CLICK HERE).