AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Thousands of high school seniors across the country are preparing to take the next step in life after receiving their diploma. Some will head to college, others to the military and some will go straight to the workforce. For many, life decisions and new responsibility can be a lot to handle.
"I think a lot of people underestimate the transition going from high school to college," says Mary Catherine Turner, Licensed Professional Counselor at Auburn University. "For many individuals it is the first time they are on their own, living by themselves or with roommates – people that aren't their family – It is a time when a lot of things are changing and they have to do things on their own. It can bring up different emotions in different people."
Turner says during this time, it is important for parents to talk to their students about what they are feeling and what they are going through.
"If parents notice their kids are having a very big change in behavior like a change in personality, not talking to them as much as they use to, not enjoying things they once enjoyed, isolating themselves, sleeping a lot or not sleeping at all or showing signs of depression or anxiety more than would be normal," she said.
There are some things that parents can do to help their seniors through the transition that lies ahead.
"Urging students to have good self-care. Get enough sleep, eat regularly, find things they like to do, goof coping skills and reaching out when they need it," said Turner.
It can also be helpful to let your students know that they do not have to be perfect.