Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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College Relationships - Staying Connected while at College

As women, we rely on healthy connections (relationships) to grow. Especially when starting a new school, you are often geographically separated from your supports, which are your (extended) family and friends. This is especially difficult during "the gap" when it's too early for new relationships to be developed. This along with academic pressures, and the competitive nature of college environments, can leave young women feeling alone.

Myth: I should be able to handle things on my own. I'm in college now.

Contemporary researchers at the Wellesley Center for Research of Women explain that traditional literature describes the primary task of moving from adolescence to adulthood, is to become autonomous, to break off family ties, and to individuate and separate. Their research validates many others' to explain that this does not fit young women's mode of growth. They say that for young women to enhance her sense of self as competent, able and empowered toward the fullest utilization of her abilities…that she must be connected to (not separated from) healthy relationships.

How do I find good friends at college?

Finding good friends takes time. Rushing off to quick invitations to parties isn't always the best way to meet good friends. Try to be patient, and keep your eye open to meet others that you share things in common. (There are many young women out there looking for what you're looking for.) Here are some tips:

  • Find a routine that you enjoy…a walk after class, dinner in the evening at 6:00pm, working out in the gym on Saturdays. You can often meet people doing the same activity because they enjoy it too.

  • If you're lonely, sometimes it helps to go places where there are other people alone too (especially on a Friday night) like a book store that invites browsing, a gym to work out in, or church. Somehow that feels less lonely.

  • Look for a group at school to join. If it is something you enjoy, then you'll share something in common with everyone else in the group!

  • Reach out to friends and family that love you. A little "boost" can go along way. Go to a card store and choose cards to those people that "say it all".

  • If there's no one around, take this time to do things that make you feel good, as listening to music that cheers you up, doing your nails, taking a nice long shower, or writing in your journal.

  • Take this time to develop a relationship with yourself. You'll never go wrong learning to enjoy hanging out with such a special Cuddle up in your comforter and draw, sketch, read poetry or even create your own. Also, journaling is a wonderful way to share ideas when the right person isn't around.

  • Be knowledgeable about the school counselors and health services. If you are struggling, reach out. It's the best move you can make.

    If you are feeling suicidal or unsafe now or need immediate help: Dial 911 or the operator and just ask for help or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Room.

  • Keeping connected in order to grow

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