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HIgher Education
Being a 17 or 18 year-old it can be challenging to make a choice regarding the ‘rest of your life.’ At this stage of young adolescence, is a time when identity development is occurring and decision making has often been swayed by meeting school requirements and managing parent’s expectations. So then how does a young person choose a university or college that is right for them? Below are tips that can assist in guiding you into the next chapter of your life..

Identifying Basic Criteria to Rate Schools

  • Distance from home (In state or Out of state)
  • Mission statement of the institution
  • Cost
  • Desired major
  • School size
  • Resources for students
  • Setting (City, Suburbs, Rural)
  • Public, Private, Religious Affiliated, HBCU
  • Liberal Arts, Engineering, Health Sciences, Business
  • Two-year, Four-year, Vocational-Technical, Career

Gain Personal Experiences

  • Schedule a visit to campus to tour the school and learn more about: daily life, residence hall accommodations, admissions office, financial aid and student services which includes: Mental Health Counseling, Fitness Center and Intramural Sports, Health Education, Cultural Center, Career Center, Academic Advising, Student Organizations
  • Shadow a current student for a day: this could be a friend/acquaintance or one that is in the major you are interested in
  • Meet with professors from the department you are interested in majoring in
  • Connect with current Alumni of the school to learn more about their experiences and obtaining a job after graduation

After you have made a decision and begin the fall semester, I encourage students to stay at the same school for an entire semester. It can take a semester to get used to a routine, connect with your roommate, join a social organization, and get accustomed to the academic rigor of college courses. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression connect with a Mental Health Counselor at your institution.

Mental Health Therapy

Psychotherapy/Talk therapy may be very helpful in assisting you to explore your options and find out which is the best choice for you. A change in life events, such as beginning your college career, is stressful and can cause depression and anxiety. Now is the time to contact a counselor to set up an appointment to explore your options. You are not alone!

Stephanie Cerula, LPCC, NCC
Clinical Counselor, The Behavioral Wellness Group

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.