Apple Psychological
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Dealing with Social Media Addiction

Social media is everywhere. In a large part because it speaks to a basic need we have. We are fundamentally social creatures, and we now live in a time where that social nature can be explored through technology. Apps like Instagram allow us to reach out and connect with others, to witness lives that are not our own, and to be entertained by the silly things strangers are doing.

This ability has given us new ways to keep in touch with friends or relax after a long day. However, it can sometimes be hard to stop ourselves from reaching for the familiar and easy comfort that these apps can bring. This can spiral into anything from an annoying habit to a seriously harmful problem. Social media addiction is tied to a slew of emotional and performance problems, and – like all addictions – can be quite difficult to escape.

 If you are dealing with this issue, one proven way of mitigating social media addiction centers on changing one’s thoughts and attitudes towards the apps. As simple as it sounds, thinking more intentionally can be effective. Targeted reflection and articulation of thoughts can break cycles of rumination and habitual usage.

 Try to follow this simple guide. It includes one session of reflection and writing, and a daily journal that can be as short or long as you desire.

 To start, ask yourself the following five questions:

  1. How much time do you spend on social media per day and per week?
  2. What other meaningful things could you do with that time?
  3. What are the benefits of not using social media?
  4. Why did you use social media and were there alternative ways to achieve the purposes?
  5. What are the adverse effects of social media use?

 After these reflections, find a sticky note, and write five pros and five cons of social media. You can keep this note around your desk and set it as your lock screen to keep these resolutions on your mind.

 Once this is done, try to keep a daily record of how much social media you used, and to reflect on your thoughts and feelings about your use.

 Following this intervention and breaking out of social media addiction is tied to an increase in self-esteem, mental health, and sleep quality. It is a way to break out of something that is potentially detrimental to happiness and productivity in high school or college.

 So many of our modern mental health problems require specific, experienced care. At Apple Psychological, our College Transition Team specializes in helping students with all the issues in the transitional time of entering college. Check out the Team or book a FREE consultation with a specialized therapist HERE.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

A Guide to Healthy College Living

Maintaining good mental health is essential at all points of life, but especially during college. A large component of a positive mental state is healthy living. The relationship that exists between healthy living and mental health is mutually reinforcing. Having a good mental state leads one to want to live a healthy lifestyle and, in turn, healthy living maintains one’s mental well-being.

The fast-paced, high-pressure atmosphere of college can take a toll on a student’s mental health. Due to stress and other overwhelming events, students may neglect their mental and physical health. It is crucial to prioritize your physical and mental well-being and to develop healthy habits throughout your college career.

Physical health is just as important as mental health (maybe even more). When one is physically healthy, they will feel much stronger mentally. Exercise and proper nutrition are both key components of physical health. By eating well and regularly moving your body, you will notice an increase in your energy, concentration, and mood levels, as well as other cognitive and physical functions. Instilling these two habits into your life will have an immediate effect and will last a lifetime, improving your future.

It’s no secret that many college dining halls serve unhealthy food options. For students, eating at the dining hall is usually the most convenient and cheapest way to get food. Although the majority of food served is not the healthiest, one can always find nutritious options. Try to fill your plate with a variety of whole foods. Whole foods include foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. In addition, avoid processed food and try to find protein-rich foods such as chicken and eggs.

Another way to prioritize nutrition is to take part in smart snacking. Stock your dorm with healthy snacks such as nuts, apples, yogurt, etc. In college you have the opportunity to use your creativity and prepare healthy meals in your dorm. Overnight oats, smoothies, and salads are some simple things that can be made in your dorm (with the help of some kitchen appliances).

Despite having a busy class and work schedule, keeping active is a habit that one can build throughout college. Most colleges have a gym that students can utilize on campus. There are also quick workouts that can be done from the comfort of your dorm. Sometimes one just does not have enough time to carve out for exercise. However, you can do something as simple as walk or bike to class (instead of drive). This change alone will have a significant impact on your physical and mental state.

College is a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience. In order to maximize the benefits and positive experiences, nutrition, fitness, and mental health should not be placed on the back burner. Even the simplest changes will have an immense impact on you!

 

If you are unsure where to begin in making these changes, Apple Psychological is here to help! Our College Transition Team can guide you in instilling these habits into your daily life. Make an appointment for your free consultation Today!

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Discovering Your Ideal College Major

Choosing a major in college is a crucial step in shaping your academic journey and opening the door to future career opportunities. It’s a decision that will have a great impact on your sense of fulfillment and happiness. It is extremely important to take time to carefully consider all your options and weigh out all the possibilities for your future studies. It’s understandable to feel lost and overwhelmed by the uncertainties and pressure of deciding on a major.

Here are some strategies to help you approach the task of deciding what major is right for you:

1. Revealing your Passions: The first step in finding a major that fits you is to reflect on what you are passionate about and what activities interest you. Think about what subjects are enjoyable for you. Reflect on topics that you take pleasure in discussing. What are some of your hobbies, extracurricular activities, and subjects of interest? Finding a major you genuinely enjoy is extremely important for your academic success and future life path.

2. Explore the Possibilities: Different colleges have varying academic fields and offer a range of majors. Some colleges have traditional subjects and some have specialty programs. It is important to explore what your specific college has to offer and explore each and every major that sparks your interest. Ask professors to sit in on their introductory classes, participate in academic advising discussions and events, and engage with peers who have similar interests.

3. Assess your Strengths and Weaknesses: While it is imperative to feel passionate about your major, it is also essential to assess what subjects you thrive in and which ones you find challenging. Certain academic skills will help you succeed in specific courses and majors. Are you a creative thinker? Are you detail-oriented? These are questions you can think about when deciding what skills to utilize in your academic studies.

4. Consider your Career Ambitions: College is a stepping stone in building the foundation for your future career. Therefore, when choosing a major, it is crucial to consider your long-term goals. Think about the different industries you can imagine yourself in, specific jobs that you may enjoy, and understand what skills can help get you to where you want to be (research, math, etc). Finding a major that aligns with your possible career goals can open doors for easier employability and also offer you a sense of direction in your studies.

5. Seek Guidance: All colleges have some form of academic advising, career counseling, or mentorship programs. In order to gain insight and guidance, it is important to utilize the resources open to students. Apple Psychological also offers a College Transition Team that can help you envision what your future can look like and also help you face the overwhelming feelings of making an impactful decision. It’s crucial to prioritize your mental well-being always, but even more so when going through changes and transitions.

Discovering what major is right for you can be a long journey of self-discovery, reflection, and exploration. By utilizing resources and delving deeply into your options, you can be greatly equipped and prepared to approach your academic studies and succeed in your future endeavors!

To learn about how we can help or to book a free consultation, click HERE or call us at 917-526-0766. An experienced therapist specializing in this transitional time can help.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Community College or University? Which Experience Is Best?

Planning for college can be a stressful and overwhelming task after high school. It requires that we choose what to study and what kind of program will align with our academic and professional goals. In addition, we also need to choose where to study or what type of college we want to attend. These can be daunting decisions to make, but with the proper support and resources available, the decision to attend community college or a university can be made simpler with the following planning method.

 This planning method will consist of five major steps:

  • Choose what we would like to study in college.
  • Research programs of interest at local colleges and in other states.
  • Decide to stay in-state or move out-of-state for college.
  • Determine a personal financial plan for college expenses depending on degree choice.
  • Reflect on personal values of receiving a college education and the type of experience that is desired.

Choosing What to Study in College

Choosing a major, minor or a general direction of what to study in college can be filled with so much pressure from so many directions. Our high school teachers might be interested in the direction we would like to choose, our parents might want us to make a decision quickly, and our peer network is filled with a sense of competition and comparison based on college choice. I have learned that starting this decision-making process early in high school can bring a sigh of relief when senior year rolls around and we are scrambling to fill out college applications. Some people who do not start this process early on, can become indecisive after high school, making it difficult to discover their individual career path.

Recommendations for success:

  1. Reach out to your school counselor and discuss your options.
  2. Ask your school counselor for a career assessment to fill out if you are unsure.
  3. Do your research about career options and reflect on how you want to contribute to the world as an adult.

Research Programs of Interest

If you have a general idea of what you want to study in college and need to refine your decision or need help deciding between two completely different majors, it is wise to do your research on what colleges offer in terms of program details (in-person or online), courses offered, and program requirements for graduation. Browsing through an academic program itinerary can put into perspective what courses will be taken, how the schedule for the program is laid out, and what to expect or how to succeed in the program. Choosing a program that aligns with your personal, professional, and academic goals will allow you to get the most out of your college education.

 

Recommendations for success:

  1. Start with a wide search of colleges that offer programs of interest to you.
  2. Narrow your list down to 5 colleges that are in your state.
  3. Don’t be afraid to look at out-of-state colleges that offer programs of interest.

 

In-State or Out-of-State

For this section, I will discuss the process of choosing between an in-state or out-of-state college. There are pros and cons to each and it just depends on your trajectory after high school. Attending college in-state is less expensive compared to moving out of state directly out of high school. Usually, if a student decides to attend college within the same year that they moved, they will pay out-of-state tuition costs, which is considerably higher than in-state tuition. Some students will opt to take a gap year while gaining residency in their new state.

 

Recommendations for success:

  1. Compare programs of interest in-state and out-of-state.
  2. Choose 5 colleges (in-state or out-of-state) that are a good fit for your academic, professional, and lifestyle goals.
  3. Consider applying to those 5 colleges’ programs of interest.

Personal Financial Plan

Depending on whether you are supporting yourself or have help from family during college, it will be important to create a budget or financial plan for college-related expenses. Tuition alone is a hefty price these days, but you also have to consider paying for textbooks, and dorm and meal-plan costs if you plan to stay on the campus of a university. If you feel like you need financial aid or want to apply for scholarships or federal grants, starting this process sooner rather than later can ease your burden when college courses begin. Once you have chosen your college and program of interest, applied, and been accepted, speaking with someone through the financial aid and scholarships department can help answer any questions you may have regarding the process.

 

Recommendations for success:

  1. Determine if you can pay for college-related expenses out of pocket.
  2. Determine how much money you can spend on college-related expenses each semester.
  3. Apply for scholarships and financial aid if necessary.

 

Personal Values

Choosing to attend a 2-year community college or a 4-year university is a decision that comes with a lot of reflection. You will need to reflect on how important college is to you, how serious you are about receiving a college education, and how that college degree will benefit you in the next phase of your life. Aside from those big-picture reflections, it will ultimately come down to your personal preference for a college experience. It is ok if you are unsure of what you want to study! Make the best decision for you with the information that you have at the time.

 

Recommendations for success:

  1. Start your college search early in high school.
  2. Reach out to your school counselors for support and guidance.
  3. Communicate with and involve your parents, family, or friends in the decision-making process.

 

Are you looking for a safe space to discuss decisions regarding college and further education? Together we can provide you support and guidance at Apple Psychological. See our website https://applepsychological.com/ to learn more about the services our practice offers, including the College Transition Team. Call us today at (917) 526-0766 or book online HERE.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Tips for Feeling Homesick in College

Going away to college can feel freeing and exciting because it’s a brand new adventure in your life. One that you get to experience all on your own. What people often don’t talk about, is how college can feel after that excitement goes away.

 It’s normal to be anxious about your new independence and making your own decisions. When the semester begins and real college life starts students may be unprepared for the amount of time they spend alone, which can lead to feeling lonely and homesick. Some tips for dealing with homesickness include:

  • Staying busy; whether it be with schoolwork or social life, always try to keep yourself occupied
  • Make plans; sometimes it’s not the school week that’s tough but it’s the uneventful weekends that students dread. So make plans for each weekend even if its small, so that you always have something to look forward to
  • Plan home visits; always know when you will be home next so that you can find relief in knowing you will be there again
  • Reach out to people; whether you met them on your first day or in one of your classes, reach out to them and just talk over text or meet up on campus. Keep in mind everyone is looking for friends
  • Find independent activities; it’s important to be able to do things alone, so discover things you enjoy doing by yourself

Remember, if you’re ever feeling hopeless or too anxious to try these tips, Apple Psychological offers an effective system of support to help guide you through the challenges of college life.

 To learn about our College Transition Team or to book a free consultation, click HERE or call us at 917-526-0766. An experienced counselor specializing in this transformative period of time can help.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here

Finding difficulty adjusting to a college lifestyle? Here are some tips…

As a high school student we underestimate the luxury of having people to guide you each and every day. Making the change to being a college student can be quite overwhelming and confusing at times.

It may seem as if the support system you were used to having by your side has completely left you high and dry, but that’s not the case!

Although you may not have family or friends guiding you as closely as before, that doesn’t mean they are not there anymore. Now they’re just providing guidance from a distance.

On a college campus, oftentimes there are numerous programs in place to help students confront their new challenges. Unfortunately, students miss out on opportunities because of lack of motivation to go or just simply because they weren’t informed. With Apple Psychological’s College Transition Team, we make it easy to obtain the help and support you may need with the ability to meet with professionals who can guide students in the right direction.

Students often don’t account for the amount of downtime they have in college. This downtime can lead to a loss of motivation which ultimately affects them academically, socially and physically. Here are some tips for using your downtime productively: 

  • Read a book; I know this one sounds simple, but reading can help keep your mind stimulated and it helps build your focus
  • Take a walk; going for walks enables you to get some fresh air and be around others. It also gives you an opportunity to get some exercise
  • Make friends; this one can be overwhelming for some people. Keep in mind that many students in college are facing similar struggles as you and they’re all looking to make friends
  • Find a new study place; sometimes studying in your room can feel isolating and can even make you feel tired, so a change of scenery can help to keep you motivated
  • Reach out to a friend; talking to someone from home helps to stay connected and feel supported
  • Get a job; although you may feel busy with school work sometimes, you don’t realize how much downtime you really have. By adding more to your schedule, you actually can help improve your time management skills

 To learn about how we can help or to book a free consultation, click HERE or call us at 917-526-0766. An experienced therapist specializing in this transitional time can help.

Check out Our College Transition Team which provides young adults with the necessary therapeutic support for students balancing the many stresses and responsibilities required during the transition from high school to college life.

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here