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How to Help Your College Student with Social Anxiety

Written By Marc Lehman, Owner and Family Therapist at

U ARE HEARD LLC

It’s normal for college students to feel some anxiety when starting school. But for some students, that anxiety can be so overwhelming that it interferes with their ability to succeed in college. If your child is struggling with social anxiety, there are things you can do as a parent to help.

Here are four tips:

  1. Talk to your child’s college about their accommodations.

Most colleges have disability services that can help students with anxiety disorders. Talk to your child’s college about the accommodations they offer and make sure your child is registered with the office. Accommodations can include things like extra time for tests, a separate room for taking exams, or preferential seating in classrooms.

  1. Encourage your child to seek counseling.

Counseling can be extremely helpful for people struggling with social anxiety. Many colleges have counseling centers that offer services to students. Encourage your child to make an appointment and talk to a counselor about their anxiety. If they would prefer to work with someone virtually have them look into this option.  For many students this is a more engaging option as it is done from the privacy of their own room.

  1. Help your child develop a support system at school.

One of the best ways to combat social anxiety is to surround yourself with supportive people. Help your child develop a support system at school by connecting them with friends, roommates, or classmates who understand what they’re going through. These people can provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when needed.

  1. Stay involved in your child’s life at college.

It’s important to stay involved in your child’s life at college, even if they’re struggling with social anxiety. Check in regularly, send care packages, and come visit when you can. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you support them no matter what.

If your college student is struggling with social anxiety, there are things you can do as a parent to help. Talk to their college about accommodations, encourage them to seek counseling, help them develop a support system at school, and stay involved in their life at college. With your love and support, they’ll be able to overcome this hurdle and succeed in their studies.

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