Success for the Excessively Shy College Student

Risks for the Shy College Student | The Being Well CenterTemperament: The excessively shy, “slow-to-warm-up” college student

Most of us as parents worry about our kids taking too many risks when they head off to college.  With greater opportunity and with parental supervision gone, will they drink too much, say “yes” when a joint is passed around the room, try cocaine, engage in unprotected sex with someone they barely know?

On college campuses today, the opportunity to make such risky choices is certainly there particularly for the highly approachable, the overly outgoing, the seemingly self-assured or the highly impulsive student with ADHD.

Daunting Challenges for the Shy College Student

However, for those students who are temperamentally at the opposite end of the approach-withdrawal continuum, college can present challenges that are just as daunting.

Just think about the number of new things and people they have to face and find some way to “warm up to”: a roommate with different routines and customs, a different bed, sharing a shower and toilet with others, using a laundromat, different foods prepared in different ways, an arrogant professor, a large lecture hall, too much information to learn no matter how hard you study, classes scattered across a large campus, dealing with others who are drunk or high, a schedule that changes every day the lack of solitude, different kids in every class, and meeting new people who are different geographically, ethnically, racially, religiously and in their sexual orientation are but a few of the more common “new things” that all students encounter on campuses all across the country.

For some “slow-to-warm-up” individuals, it’s just a matter of time before they finally settle in and adjust . . . maybe after a few days or a couple of weeks. During this time their stomachs might flip a few more times, their mouths might be a bit drier, or their palms a bit sweatier.

Parents of these individuals can rest assured that they’ll also be taking a giant step backward from some of the other more scary new things that they will encounter on campus . . . at least initially.

When Shyness turns to Anxiety

However, for more extreme “slow-to-warm-up” individuals, the sudden newness on multiple fronts at college can be overwhelming and downright devastating.

Shyness can progress to social anxiety and extreme isolation.  Novel courses, new concepts, new ways of doing the familiar, unusual and confusing directions, one new thing after another, all can precipitate panic.  The thought of going to a professor, teaching assistant or someone down the hall who has the same class to ask for help is simply out of the question!  Unfortunately, since one day’s work builds on the previous day, it’s easy for them to quickly get behind the 8-ball with nowhere to turn.

Many respond by withdrawing even further . . . shutting it down and going to bed well before their roommate.  Out of sight out of mind.  Sleeping in and missing class.  Hanging out in their room eating junk food while obsessively playing video games or watching TV.  Lying to themselves (and you) about how it’s really going.

Helping Shy Students Toward Success

There’s actually lots that can be done to help the “slow-to-warm-up” student adjust to and succeed at college.

However, they first must recognize and accept this part of their nature.

We can’t change a student’s basic temperament, but we can help them identify where it places them at risk and then brainstorm ways to mange, cope and work around this potential barrier.

The first step is to take the appropriate Confidence@College screener to see if there are aspects of your child’s temperament that place him/her at risk for college failure.  If so, contact us so we can help start moving things along a path to success.

How to Ensure College Success

ADD ADHD structure teacher parentCollege Savings Going Down the Drain?

Tired of nagging your college student throughout the semester and then having your worst fears realized when grades come out?

Have that pit-in-your-stomach feel when you read the academic probation letter?

Staying awake at night worried about what happens to all those years of careful college savings if your student drops out, or worse, flunks out?

You’re not alone.

25% of college students won’t return to school after their freshman year.  Even scarier, 46% of college students today will not graduate in six years, according to The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.  Not exactly the picture most of us are planning as we set aside funds each month for the college savings account.

As parents, we worry about the money invested in a student’s education, sure.  But even more worrisome is the picture we’re forced to consider if our student is struggling (and failing) to meet the academic and social challenges at college.

While colleges and universities are making strides in increasing retention rates and offering support for special needs students, the honest truth is that, for most at-risk students, the efforts just aren’t enough to make a difference in their success toward graduation.

What happens to the college drop outs?

If your student fails after four or six years of struggling at college, what will his/her future look like?

At The Being Well Center, we’ve helped guide students from an uncertain future to a self-assured, confident success.  We’ve seen a pronounced increase in college students seeking personalized success plans for navigating the challenges of higher education.  These are students who want to picture a cap and gown in their future.  These are parents who want to protect their financial and familial investments.  These are families who are admitting they can’t face one more battle over getting to class on time or turning in term papers or failing tests or making poor decisions to party away the week.

81% of students enrolled in the Being Well Center’s Confidence@College program are on track to graduate; many in four years rather than six, which has now become the norm.  The confidence boost in these student’s lives has been marked.  The relaxed smiles on parents during consultation sessions say it all: college success can be achievable for ADD and ADHD students, as well as, those with learning, language or emotional differences.

But many times, success needs a partner.  A partner that can teach self-advocacy skills and be there to catch your student when a stumble happens.  A partner to be by your side as you cheer from the stands on graduation day.  The Being Well Center has designed Confidence@College to be that good roommate in your student’s college life.

The Whole You for College Success | The Being Well CenterWhat Works for College Success: We get to know the Whole Person first.

In our Confidence@College program, we always start by looking at The Whole Person first.  We accomplish this by surveying the individual’s TRANSACT Profile either through a screening tool or more extensive questionnaire.  TRANSACT is an acronym we use to summarize the key factors within the individual and his/her environment that interact with each to lead to success or failure.

This is the first in a series of 8 blogs that are presented to illustrate how unique aspects of a student’s TRANSACT Profile can serve as barriers to success at college.  We have selected one example for each of the TRANSACT factors.  We have tried to pick examples that might not be obvious at first blush but help illustrate the importance of systematically looking at The Whole Person when trying to identify at-risk students or figuring out why things went wrong.  Our screeners and questionnaires take a comprehensive look at all the possible contributors for each TRANSACT factor.

Get started with our first screener today.  We’re sharing our clinical questionnaire, “Am I Ready for College.”  It’s free to download, so don’t waste another minute!  Share it with all your friends–our questionnaire can help anyone.  Call us today to find out more about how Confidence@College can help you: 724.443.4120

 

Temperament: Success is in Understanding the Mix

image via Flickr by Davidlore Bueso

image via Flickr by Davidlore Bueso

Each of our temperamental traits is important and plays a significant role in shaping who we are, how we behave, and how we experience and respond to the world around us.

While we have defined and discussed these traits individually, it is important to remember that in the real world these traits do not exist in isolation; they interact with each other to influence our behavior in a complex way.

Subtle differences in temperamental profiles can result in dramatic differences in how they present themselves in our homes and classrooms.

Temperament Profile 1: Jackson

For example, let’s consider Jackson, a child with a negative mood, long persistence, slow adaptability, low frustration tolerance, and high intensity of reaction.  He may be very difficult to work with when this set of characteristics interact with each other to result in frequent, very big negative reactions that last a long time in response to the inevitable changes and challenges that occur every day in the classroom.

Temperament Profile 2: Sam

On the other hand, take Sam, a different child with a very similar profile including a negative mood, long persistence, slow adaptability, low frustration tolerance, but a low intensity of reaction may be much less difficult to work with. This is because his low intensity of reaction means his frequent, negative reactions to the changes and challenges in the classroom will be milder and, even if they do persist, their small magnitude may not register on anyone’s radar.

Therefore, as we examine a child’s temperamental profile, it is important to look closely at each trait separately and then consider how each of these individual traits may interact with the others to shape the behavior and personality we are observing.

Let’s reflect and review.  Where are you, or where is your child, on the spectrum of these temperament traits?

Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableUse our Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet to map it all out clearly.


Call The Being Well Center today for help understanding the mix of every part of your child! 724-433-4120

Understanding Temperament: Persistence

image via Flickr by Petr Dosek

image via Flickr by Petr Dosek

A key goal in effective treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder should be to understand our temperament and the temperament of the children we live and work with. 

Understanding the concept of temperament and applying that knowledge to ourselves as parents and teachers and to those around us helps us to better understand behavior…struggles, failures, and successes.

Understanding PERSISTENCE

Persistence refers to how long we stick with tasks regardless of their difficulty, ranging from very long to very short.

Some of us are highly persistent even in the face of tremendous difficulty; we keep going and going and going.

Others of us spend only a short time on a challenging task before giving up and moving on to something else.

The child with long persistence resists giving up and will practice a task repeatedly until he has mastered it. This same child may struggle to stop an activity when it is time to move on if he has not yet mastered or completed it.

The child with short persistence may stop practice before mastery, struggle to stick with longer, more complex tasks, and be ready to put down a challenging book long before the last page.


Temperament Traits and ADHD | The Being Well Center | Free PrintableDownload our Being Well Center | Temperament Worksheet designed to help you pinpoint where your or your child’s temperament trait falls on the continuum. Catch up on previous posts about Activity LevelRhythmicityToleranceIntensityMood, Approach-Withdrawal, and Adaptability.


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