Life Coach Tips for College Freshmen

August 15th, 2014 by Will Humble Leave a reply »

teenGoing to college is fun and exciting.  As is the case with all life transitions, getting some helpful hints in advance can smooth out the adjustment time and help create a better and healthier outcome.  Make it a point to review the following “life coach tips” with your young adult (like I’ve been doing with my soon-to-be Freshman).

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle starting with diet and exercise.  Many young men & women gain weight their 1st  year at college (a.k.a. the Freshman 15).  Follow an eating plan with correct portions of the basic food groups…and remember that beverages add extra calories.  You’ll be surprised when you find out how many calories are in a Caffe Latte or Caffe Mocha.  Get into an exercise routine right away when you get to college – with at least 30 minutes of solid exercise every day.
  • Sexual assault is a problem on college campuses. One in five women are sexually assaulted in college.   Be aware of your surroundings.   Know your rights and seek help immediately if you or someone they know is the victim of violence.
  • Binge drinking is dangerous.  It increases your chances for risky sexual behavior, sexual assault, unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, car crashes, violence, and alcohol poisoning. When bad things happen at college – alcohol was likely involved.  Recognize up-front what might happen in binge drinking situations (often involving competitive drinking games) and make a commitment to protect yourself and your friends to avoid binge situations.
  • Sexually transmitted infections are common on college campuses these days.  Half of all sexually transmitted infections occur among people 15 to 24 years old. College students and others who are sexually active should get tested to know their status and protect themselves and their sexual partners.
  • Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and causes many diseases like cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases.  About 17% of young adults smoke cigarettes.  Don’t start smoking when you get to college.  Most likely you’ll meet new friends and some of them will be smokers.  Don’t succumb to the peer pressure – be the person of reason that gets them to quit.
  • Managing stress and maintaining good balance is important for college students. A few ways to manage stress are to get enough sleep, avoid drugs and alcohol, connect socially, and get help from a medical or mental health professional, including if depressed.  Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among people 15 to 24.  If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Protect yourself from meningitis. First-year college students living in dorms have a higher risk for meningococcal disease, which can deadly. If you haven’t already gotten your meningitis vaccine get it done before move-in day.  If you got the shot before you turned 16, you need a booster.
  • Use your campus resources. There are many professionals on campus that specialize in college transition and all the issues listed above (counseling center, residence halls, commuter center, health services, etc.).
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3 comments

  1. Maureen says:

    I often look forward to your blog to see what is trending in public health in our state. More often than not, I appreciate that you are on point with your messages, and a progressive voice for public health in an overly bureaucratic environment. Sadly, today’s blog post was not one of these times.

    • Sexual assault is a problem on college campuses. One in five women are sexually assaulted in college. Prevention is key. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid putting yourself into situations that can spiral out of control (e.g. alcohol is often involved in sexual assaults). Know your rights and seek help immediately if you or someone they know is the victim of violence.

    It is critical to bring this statistic about sexual assault to the forefront of people’s consciousness. Sexual assault is such an underreported crime that can lead to other physical and mental health problems. It is, unfortunately, correct in pointing out that women must be aware of their surroundings and protect themselves from this absolutely real threat to their well-being.

    However, as the Director of Health Services, you must understand and promote the notion of prevention beginning at the root of the problem. Sexual assault is not caused by women walking alone to her car, wearing short skirts, or even drinking (even to excess). Sexual assault is caused by the person that commits the crime, and that is where we need to begin our prevention efforts. Instead of just recommending to our young women that they do whatever they can to avoid getting assaulted, why don’t you also encourage educational campaigns against this violence, challenge the social constructs that encourage this behavior, remind young men that no really does mean no, and that too drunk to answer does not equal consent?

    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/23/young-women-drinking-and-rape/blame-rapes-enablers-not-the-victims
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/stop-blaming-victims-for-sexual-assaults-on-campus/2014/02/24/

  2. Cimma Sefat says:

    I enjoy your blog but I was a pretty taken aback to read this “life coach tip” on sexual assault prevention. I worked in student affairs with freshman students at Emory University. Part of my position was to review a wide range of reported misconduct, and many times those cases dealt with sexual assault and violence. Asking “how drunk” or “how short her dress was” does not cross my mind when I counsel students who were victims of assault. That puts blame on the wrong person. While alcohol and drugs are ubiquitous on campuses, sexual assault does not always happen when one or more people involved are under the influence. A woman can be completely aware and in control of her surroundings but still become a victim.
    While prevention is key, we need to address the right message to the right audience. As a person in your position, I believe you can encourage young college males to treat women with respect and to understand the potential physical, emotional, and legal repercussions of their actions.

  3. KK says:

    Good tips.College days are the best days in everyone life.Young generation need to understand that study and fun need to be balanced and proceed with a goal in life. Respect others is the key. and be professional whether its is study or any other stuff. Also think there are millions of kids who don’t have the opportunity to study like you, so thank and do well in studies

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