Welcome to the UT family! You are joining a vibrant academic community that will play a large part in launching you into your future. This experience will be like nothing you've done before. To help you stay emotionally fit and increase your chances of success, here are a few tips:
Find a community: UT is a big place, and it can be easy to get lost in the crowd. Take steps to build a community around you. You can get active with RecSports, make friends in your Res Hall, get involved with one of the 1,110+ student organizations, or form a study group. It doesn't matter HOW you connect with others, just that you DO. Together>Alone!
Get ahead of stress: Stress is the most common concern we hear from students, and it's no wonder. This may be the first time you are living away from family, managing your own finances, or dealing with a roommate. Add to that, finding your way around a campus the size of Luxembourg, and you'd expect anyone to be stressed. Make a plan now for how you will manage stress (eg. getting organized, exercising, finding a religious/spiritual community, eating well, yodeling, or whatever else works best for you), and you will be better prepared to manage when it's "go time" during the semester. Check out this website for tips on managing stress.
Look out for others and yourself: Take action early, before you feel overloaded. DON'T WAIT to ask for help. Get help immediately if you get a low grade, not at the end of the semester when it's too late. Seek support from your advisor, professor, or a counselor if you start to feel overwhelmed, not once you're already underwater. Put the army of resources at UT to work for you. Also, keep an eye out for friends and classmates who might become overwhelmed. Offer help or suggest some of UT's many resources to them. When it comes to surviving stressful times Together>Alone!
Message to New Students with Previous or Current Mental Health or Emotional Concerns
If you have experienced mental health or emotional concerns - such as depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, substance abuse or dependence, etc. - it's important for you to take some extra steps now in preparing to come to UT. You might need to establish a relationship with a new counselor. You might need to discuss with your doctor whether s/he can continue to prescribe any medication you might take, or whether you need to find a new doctor in Austin. To help figure out what you need, a good place to start is talking with those who know you best, such as family, friends, counselors, and doctors. Planning for this now will help you more successfully navigate the stressors of college life.
To help you with this planning, CMHC has counselors available throughout the summer M-F from 8-5 to talk with you about how you can access the resources or support you might need in your particular situation. Simply call (512) 475-7110 to connect with a counselor who can discuss your situation with you. The important thing is to plan ahead to ensure that you are adequately supported, and have a backup plan in case your needs change. Set yourself up for success!
To learn more about supporting your health and well-being while at UT, check out the Counseling and Mental Health Center's (CMHC) website. Poke around to learn more about common student concerns such as stress, perfectionism, sleep, and dating. Get informed about the services we offer at CMHC, including individual, group, crisis, and telephone counseling.
Our mission is to help you succeed and together we can make your transition to UT a smooth and successful one!