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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

College Transition: Navigating the Journey of Choosing a College Major

Whether you are on your way to college or already in college, you know that choosing a college major is one of the most significant decisions you face as you move on to higher education. Your major determines what career you will have after the next 4 years of undergraduate studies, however, for many students this decision, along with the idea of selecting a major can be overwhelming. If you find yourself wrestling with the big question of what to study in college, rest assured–you are not alone.

 

It’s OK to Not Know

The first step is recognizing that feeling uncertain about what to study in college is completely normal. Rather than viewing these uncertain feelings as roadblocks, try to see them as an integral part of your journey. Take this opportunity to explore all of your interests, passions, and the different career paths available, without the pressure of having to figure it all out right away.

Figure Out Your Interests

Take the time to think about your interests. What subjects do you find the most engaging? What activities bring you joy? What volunteering or work have you done that has inspired you? Consider what your academic strengths are, and use this to your advantage. College is the place where you get to hone in on all that you love and are passionate about.

Seek Guidance and Get Involved

Don’t ever feel ashamed to reach out for guidance and support. Colleges have a vast array of resources that are meant to help you on this journey of self-discovery. You can find support through academic advisors, professors, mental health workers, and family. All of these resources can offer valuable insight, and perspective that will help direct you in the right direction. Many universities offer career counseling sessions and workshops that are designed to help students explore and identify potential majors and career paths.

Trust the Process

Remember, your choice of major is not set in stone. It is ok to change your mind, pivot, and explore new avenues along the way. Trust in yourself and the process of discovering who you are in this new phase. Keep an open mind, embrace the change, and believe that everything will fall into place.

And, if you need a little extra guidance, Apple Psychological is here to 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 college life. If you need support during this time, check out our College Transition Team or book a FREE consultation with a therapist who will start you on your journey 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

In-Person or Online Learning? A College Transition Experience

Completing high school and choosing to attend college is a big deal. COLLEGE… Sounds scary, right? Professors; Expensive textbooks; Lectures; Exams; Homework; and meeting new people.

The transition from high school to college can be a daunting experience for just about anyone. Usually, individuals have some level of control and choice in what kind of school they attend or what they want to study. Students want to have a say in their overall college experience.

In-Person or Online Learning? A College Transition ExperienceOnline Learning vs. Traditional Classroom Setting
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been a significant acceleration in the availability of online learning, especially for college students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 15% of college students in the United States attended primarily online institutions in 2020. The appeal of online learning is that most institutions offer fully remote programs that benefit working students.

As a student myself, I truly valued having the opportunity and privilege to take online courses because I lived more than an hour away from campus. Online learning gave me more time with my loved ones and helped me gain responsibility and leadership skills throughout my online courses.

According to Cooke (2024), 70% of students agree that online classes are better than traditional classroom settings based on reduced expenses, schedule convenience, becoming more skilled with using technology, and better retention of learned information. Moreover, online learning can help students retain between 25% and 60% more information, compared to traditional classroom settings. Furthermore, if you are a student who cares about the environment, online learning also uses 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student compared to learning in a traditional setting.

Student Perspectives
There is little research in comparing students’ experiences of the two modalities of learning; online learning and traditional classroom settings. However, a study conducted by Frontiers in Psychology sought to examine undergraduates’ preference for academic performance, class material, and assessment in online learning and traditional classrooms. Students expressed a preference for completing activities face-to-face rather than online, but there was no significant difference in their test performance between the two modalities.

In addition, students expressed a strong preference for class discussions to be face-to-face, because they felt more engaged and received more immediate feedback compared to traditional learning. What is more interesting is that students in this study appreciated the convenience of completing writing activities online in their own time, but strongly preferred to discuss course content with their peers in a classroom setting rather than online. This study concludes that online learning and traditional learning lead to similar levels of academic performance, but ultimately it comes down to student preference in the type of learning that is most beneficial for their unique needs.

Choosing to attend college is a great start. Making the right decision about how to successfully achieve your academic goals is an even better start to your college journey.

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 Apple Psychological to learn more about the services our practice offers, including the College Transition Team.

Cooke, C. (2024). In-person VS online learning statistics: The top list of 2024. Upskillwise. https://upskillwise.com/in-person-vs-online-learning-statistics
Hamilton, I. (2024). By the numbers: The rise of online learning in the U.S. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/online-colleges/online-learning-stats/
Kemp, N., & Grieve, R. (2014). Face-to-face or face-to-screen? undergraduates’ opinions and test performance in classroom vs. online learning. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01278

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

How To Support Your Child During The College Application Process

Applying for college can be very daunting and time consuming for highschool juniors and seniors. Students have to focus on excelling in their current classes while prepping for their future and what school or major they want toHow To Support Your Child During The College Application Process pursue. Between deadlines, essays and forms that need to be completed, students can easily feel overwhelmed and confused. Adding in the fear of not getting into their dream school or not having a “perfect” application profile, students will need support during this stressful time. Here are some tips for how you can support your child during their application process:

Research schools and highlight important dates
Every college has specific dates for when your student can apply. Research dates and information that your student may not know such as application options like Early Decision, Early Action and Regular Decision. Familiarize yourself with what each school has to offer your student to help narrow down which schools would be a best fit. For example, If your student is interested in athletics and attending a big school, research facilities, support services and housing services to see how your student will be supported throughout their time at the school.

Plan a visit
All colleges offer campus tours throughout the week where your student can visit campus and learn more information about the school. Some schools offer Q&A’s with students and class visits where your student can experience what it is like to be a student at the school for a day. There are also open house events where students can ask questions about financial aid and speak to faculty; these events can help your student envision what school may be the best fit for them.

Reassure your student
The college application process consists of a lot of excitement and hope when visiting a university your student is interested in; however, the process also consists of rejection and disappointment for many students. Remind your student that their hard work and dedication is recognized and will yield the best results. A lot of students compare themselves to their peers since the process is so competitive. This can lead to your student feeling discouraged. Support your child by acknowledging their accomplishments and celebrating their hard work.

The college application process can heighten a student’s anxiety and lower their self esteem. The workload during this time can be very heavy for a student and support from peers and family can be extremely beneficial. Celebrating your student’s wins and assisting in the process by planning trips or researching schools can take a lot of pressure off your student’s shoulders. This can help them succeed in meeting all of their deadlines. Apple Psychological’s College Transition Team can help further support your students during this stressful process. Our team of clinicians understand the difficulties of transitioning to college and are prepared to support your child through treatment and multimodal therapies. Learn more about Apple Psychological’s college transition team at College Transition Team .

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

How Can I Help My Teen Get Ready for College?

As a parent, it is hard not to worry about our kids. Of course, this is what we have been doing since they have been born. Is it possible that we are already thinking about them leaving the nest and living away from home? We want to take inventory of what we are doing as parents to support our children at home, because as well meaning as we are, we will not be there to provide this support when our children are living away from us at school.

Questions that you might consider when you are wondering if your child can thrive at school are: 

  • Does my child have good hygiene habits? 
  • Does my child know who to ask for help if he/she/they need it? 
  • Who does my child go to when they have a problem? 
  • Does my child know how to solve problems when they are faced with stress? 
  • Does my child know how to cope with multiple tasks at one time?
  • How does my child face challenges in his/her/their life?
  • Does my child know how to make healthy choices with regards to nutrition? 
  • Does my child have healthy sleep habits? 

Of course, while no child is perfect and realistically, teenagers are notorious for unhealthy habits, it is important that internally, they are aware of the choices that are best for them, even if they are not always making the best decisions possible. It is also important that they know who they can go to if they do not have the answer to a problem, and need help.

As a clinical psychologist, I have seen many cases in which teens who struggled with mental health issues in high school such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and trauma have gone off to college without the appropriate level of support and have significantly regressed in their mental wellness. The reason for this decline is often due to:

  • Difficulty with emotional regulation causing the teen to retreat to their bed and skip classes, miss assignments, and isolate themselves.
  • Lack of ability to cope with conflict combined with the lack of psychological support required to help the teen resolve conflicts that present themselves, especially during the transition to college.
  • The teen becoming overwhelmed with academic and social demands of college without the proper level of psychological and psychiatric support, again, especially as they are transitioning to college 
  • Avoidance of assignments or social situations that cause anxiety, which can result in social isolation or avoidance of academic tasks such as an assignment, or studying for a test. 
  • The teen having difficulty making friends or finding their social group, causing them significant anxiety, stress, or even depression.
  • The teen procrastinating when they become overwhelmed with academic demands due to executive functioning deficits such as time management deficiencies, as well as difficulties with planning, organization and prioritization.
  • Difficulty with tolerating stress or disappointment due to social rejection or poor grades and regressing in terms of their depression or anxiety.
  • The teen requiring psychiatric treatment due to increasing mental health issues or side effects of their current medication.

If you are concerned that your child might need support when they go away to school, consider getting them assistance through our First Semester Consultation Program. In this holistic preventative program, your teen will receive:

  • Psychological support weekly from a doctoral level therapist specializing in helping your teen have a smooth and easy transition to college
  • Bi-weekly Psychiatric support from a member of the psychiatric team
  • Team meetings by the psychiatric and psychological staff who will consult on behalf of your child’s treatment to create the best outcome for your teen and ensure success for their first semester. These meetings will be held with and without the Parents.
  • A review of their previous psychological records, assessments, and IEPs, which will identify their strengths and weaknesses, and will make recommendations for continued success in college.
  • Connections with your child’s school’s Student Service Support Center,  helping your  child learn the services they offer and how they can take advantage of these support services.   

With this supportive team approach, we truly believe that this can prevent teens who we know struggle with mental health issues to face the pitfalls that we have seen many times in our collective practices. Being in a supportive program can make the difference between a teen being successful in college, and coming home after having an emotional, and difficult setback, potentially holding them back from the important independent, young adult trajectory that we are hoping for them.

 

If you have any questions about this program, or want to learn more, please reach out to our team at: (917) 526-0766, visit our website at: https://applepsychological.com/contact-us/

or book a FREE consultation call at  https://applepsychological.janeapp.com/