emotional wellness

Therapy for Emerging Adults and College Students in NYC

Discover your identity and find the strength you need to stand on your own. 

We Specialize in Therapy for Emerging Adults and College Students in NYC

Up until now, you’ve likely been dependent on your family’s support. When you begin college, however, it marks the start of your transition to independence. It’s often said to be your first taste of the “real world,” an introduction to the world of adulthood. Attending college in NYC can be an exciting prospect. You’d have the nation’s largest and busiest city laid out at your feet, serving as the backdrop for “the best four years of your life.” 

The college experience is often glorified but reality rarely follows that rosy outlook — between the heavy academic load, the social pressure, the packed schedule, the burden of student loan debt, and a bleak future characterized by job insecurity and economic difficulties, many college students and emerging adults find themselves at wits’ end before those four years are up.

These challenges are difficult enough to deal with as is, but they’re often magnified by the inevitable growing pains as you learn to stand on your own. It’s up to you, and only you, to figure it all out. 

Everything from small decisions like what to eat for lunch to serious decisions like signing up for a student loan will depend on your say. It’s also up to you to confront situations that you might not have experienced before, be it doing your own laundry or standing up to a professor for an incorrectly-calculated grade. 

At times, you might find yourself surprised in both good and bad ways. You might uncover strengths you never knew you had — or you might find that you’re having more trouble with adjusting to college life than you expected. College may be full of opportunities for growth and self-discovery, but it’s rarely stress-free. The mental health of students across the country has been in consistent decline for years

Between 2013 and 2021, there has been a 135% increase in depression and 110% increase in anxiety among college students, as well as a nearly 50% increase in the number of students who meet the criteria for one or more mental health problems. You’re not alone in your struggle. Your curriculum may not include a course on navigating life as a college student, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out for help from other sources.

What Challenges Do Emerging Adults and College Students Face?

College is often the perfect recipe for making students feel overwhelmed with their responsibilities and the expectations pinned upon them, whether by themselves or others. Some of the most common challenges faced by students are:

  • Making major decisions — Many say that the decisions you make in college will greatly affect the trajectory of your life, such as your major determining your career after graduation. These decisions can be frightening to commit to.

  • Interpersonal relationships — College puts you face to face with a wide range of people. It can be intimidating to make new friends and cultivate new relationships. It can also be difficult to maintain relationships you had before (e.g. keeping in touch with family).

  • Lack of academic support — Feeling like your professors are unreasonable with their requirements and not being able to seek help (e.g. professor unreachable for consultations, no tutoring services, etc.) can hinder your academic progress.

  • Discovering sexuality — College is often the first environment where you’ll see more openness towards the topic of sex, which can prompt a journey to figuring out your identity. Some may be having their first serious relationship. Or it is their first time being sexually active and facing concerns of STDs.

  • LGBTQIA+ student experience — Many LGBTQIA+ students find newfound freedom in college, allowing them to experience their first time “coming out,” first time meeting LGBTQIA+ adult role models, first time being exposed to sexual orientation and gender identity issues in curriculum, first opportunity to change their gender expression, or first time expressing “real” feelings and having “real” friends. These firsts can come with new fears and anxieties, such as an increased risk of being discriminated against for their identity.

  • Adjusting to a new place — NYC is known as “The City That Never Sleeps” for a reason. If you’re from outside the city, it can be hard to adjust to the fast pace. Even if you’re from the city, moving into a dorm or other shared student accommodation can be a big change. You might find it hard to get along with your roommate and live without the amenities you had before.

  • Assimilation and acculturation — Students who are first-generation Americans or immigrants might have trouble adjusting to a new culture and language. Undocumented students, in particular, face anxiety over their legal status and economic hardship. They might also face concerns of discrimination. If English isn’t their first language, they might lag behind in schoolwork, leading to insecurities and self-doubt. Intergenerational conflict can also arise between students and parents if they adjust faster than their parents to the new culture. They can become burdened with constantly having to translate for their parents.

  • Developing organizational skills — Juggling classes, extracurricular duties, a social life, and possibly a part-time job is no mean feat. You might struggle with carving out time for everything on your plate.

  • Doubt about academic fitness — If you’re unhappy with the way your college life is going, it’s natural to have doubts. You might wonder if you picked the right major or the right college and start double-thinking your past decisions.

Understandably, this isn’t an exhaustive list. The situations that can cause you mental distress are numerous. When it comes to reaching your tipping point, here are some signs you need to look out for:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Being unable to enjoy the activities you did before

  • Being irritated and angry more often

  • Feeling isolated from the people around you 

  • Being constantly fatigued and exhausted 

  • Difficulty focusing

  • Changes in your sleeping schedule (sleeping too little or too much)

  • Changes in your appetite

  • Substance abuse

  • Unexplained aches and pains 

Some of these may come and go, but if you find that they’re significantly disrupting your daily life and affecting your ability to perform well in school, you may want to consider seeking professional help. 

 

THERAPISTS WHO CAN HELP

NYC Therapists Who Specialize in  Therapy for Emerging Adults and College Students

Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

How Therapy Can Help Emerging Adults and College Students

What Does Therapy for Emerging Adults and College Students Look Like?

Seeking therapy can be a difficult decision, especially if you feel afraid of being judged or wary of your therapist being out of touch with your problems. A good therapist understands that you have unique needs as an emerging adult. They can work with you to determine what approach will work best for you.

Therapy can give you the coping mechanisms you need to handle anxiety, fear, and stress and face difficult situations head-on. It can help you build self-confidence and instill better interpersonal skills, so you feel better equipped to handle interpersonal conflict. Therapy can help you identify and examine harmful and repetitive thought patterns and behaviors in order to eliminate them and work towards healthier ways to react. 

If you struggle with standing on your own two feet, therapy can help you develop the independence and emotional resilience you need to keep your head held high as you navigate college life. 

What If I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?

It’s perfectly okay if you’re not quite ready to seek therapy. In the meantime, you can try following these tips to help you feel better today: 

  • Seek support from others — Whether they’re friends, family members, professors, college counselors, or even strangers on the internet, it can be helpful to have someone to simply vent to. 

  • Seek academic help if necessary — If your grades are slipping, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for help. Career centers, tutoring services, program advisors, or fellow classmates can be good places to start. 

  • Make time for non-college activities — Give yourself time to exist as an individual instead of a student. Try seeking activities unrelated to school (e.g. go on a road trip, pick up a hobby, etc.).  

  • Take stock of your priorities — Sometimes, you might be trying to do too much in too little time. Take a step back, evaluate what’s eating up your time, and determine if you need to rearrange your priorities.

 

Interested In Therapy for College Students?

Get in touch today.

The stress of college can be difficult to bear alone — but you don’t have to. We can work with you to develop coping skills and emotional resilience that can help you thrive in college. Reach out today for a free consultation with one of our therapists who specialize in therapy for emerging adults and college students in NYC.

 

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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Dimitri Mellos, Ph.D
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Jen Oddo, LMSW
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Jneé Hill, LCSW
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Melanie Palmietto, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Salima Ndoye, LMFT
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