The transition to college can be hard on students' mental health. Teenagers living away from home for the first time may experience academic stress while also trying to make new friends, build routines, and stay physically healthy. All these changes at once can be overwhelming for college students.
Teachers and parents can help students prepare for these emotional challenges before college starts. Practicing mindfulness in the classroom can help. Mindfulness is about observing how you're feeling in the moment without judging yourself. It can help teens learn to reduce the intensity of their emotions. You can also encourage students to think ahead about what they'll do when they run into challenges in college.
Self-care is a big part managing difficult emotions. Help students build a toolkit of activities they know make them feel better. It might be deep breathing, going on a run, or listening to music. College is often a hard place to maintain healthy habits, so encourage your students to build these habits ahead of time.