making a successful transition
Choose a realistic course load
Learn as much as you can ahead of time about the demands of the
course of study you’re interested in. Think about whether
you’ll be able to handle these demands, in addition to the
stress of other major changes like moving away.
Can you arrange to study part time?
Get in touch with Special Needs/Disability
It helps to get in touch with someone from the Special Needs office
ahead of time, like when you’re considering applying to the
school. Find out what kind of services they offer, and what kind
of documentation (e.g. Doctor’s notes, etc.) that you may
need to bring in order to access their services.
Check it out
Visiting the campus before classes begin will help you get your
bearings so that you feel comfortable when the time comes. While
you’re there, go in and meet with the Special Needs/Disability
workers in person.
Think about attending part time
Lots of students attend college or university part time, whether
or not they have mental health problems. Try to set realistic expectations
about how many courses you can handle at once. It’s better
to pass two courses than to fail four.
Keep a handle on your stress
Make sure to check in with yourself regularly about how you’re
handling things. Some students find that keeping a journal helps
them to recognize patterns and know when they’re getting stressed.
Exercise your rights!
Remember that you’re entitled to special help and support.
The counsellors are there to listen and help you get the support
and accommodations you need on campus.
Other students who’ve been there will know better than anyone
about managing the stress of university or college life with a mental
illness. See if there are peer support groups for students with
mental illness available on campus. They’re often available
through the Campus Student Association/Union (or whatever the equivalent
group is on your campus)For more information on managing post-secondary
education, look at the “Higher Education” website and
at the other resources listed in the “Cool
links and Resources” section.