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What I Would Tell my Younger Self

By Robert Gadol, Student at CLE Austin

Robert and David - 2010 CLE

Robert and David – 2010

In 2010 I graduated from high school and moved to Austin, Texas where I started College Living Experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, it was scary and challenging, but only because I made it that way. At the time, I thought I knew everything about life and I didn’t need to learn anything, boy was I wrong. As a result, I did not listen to others’ advice and I wasted a lot of time instead of making good use of the program and the CLE staff.

When you first start living on your own you will face many situations that are unknown, especially when you have never faced them before. The main problems I experienced were lack of sleep, not taking my medication consistently, not listening to advice and, relationship problems. If I could go back now I would give my self a major reality check.

The first problem I faced was lack of sleep. I would stay up for hours past mid-night and as a result I would get upset and paranoid. I spent a lot of time engaging in activities to keep me busy late at night, rather than setting up a good sleep pattern. This caused me to miss classes and scheduled sessions and ultimately fail some classes. I also thought I didn’t need to take my medications consistently, so I took them late or not at all and this caused me a lot of emotional and friendship-problems at the time.

I experienced a lot of peer relationship issues when I first came to CLE. My roommate had a lot of friends and I felt left out, so I spent a lot of money buying things for peers to try to impress them, thinking they would be my friends. I also told lies about myself or exaggerated my experiences to make friends. It turns out that they were not true friends. Rather than make friends, I ended up with a lot of ruined peer relationships. I also prioritized my social time over my academics and my academic results suffered.

Robert and David - CLE 2015

Robert and David – 2015

I have learned over time that I do not know everything and the CLE staff are here to help me. Since I have been following their advice and putting it into practice, things have turned around. I recently completed my degree in Web and Interactive Design and made the Dean’s list. I have some great friendships that have lasted for over 3 years. I now have a good, balanced and healthy lifestyle and I am much happier these days.

If I could go back and talk to my younger self I would say the following:

  • You don’t need to pay your way to friendships.
  • Be your true self and people will like you.
  • Be a responsible adult and take your medication.
  • Not sleeping doesn’t help. Get your rest, you need it.
  • You are not always right, so take advice from other people.

Newsletter Articles – August 2015

Connect with support office

With the passage of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, the transition from secondary to post-secondary education has improved for many students. However, some students still experience difficulties.

Maureen Higgins M.S., C.R.C is the Disability Services Advisor at Broward College in Davie, Florida. Maureen points to three key gaps that exist as the students move on to college. Specifically, she highlights self-advocacy, time management, and the importance of self-identifying with the disability services office before registering for classes.

Transitioning to college

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the next level of the game when it comes to your education: college. This next stage will be an exciting one, but it will also bring its share of challenges. As a high school graduate, you’re undoubtedly a clever scholar who knows your way around the education system. But one of the challenges of success in college is recognizing how it differs from high school. The following chart will help you recognize some of the differences between high school and college and how to navigate those differences.

Roommates at CLE

Are you worried about living with a roommate? You are not alone. Every college student approaches the beginning of the school year with some anxiety about his or her new roommate. Perhaps it is the first time you’ve had to share a living space with someone else. Maybe you’re worried about whether your roommate will be friendly. How will you handle disagreements? Dr. Scott Hykin, Director of Psychological Services at CLE Rockville, offers the following advice for living with a roommate

Moving to a new apartment

Moving into a new apartment for the first time is an exciting adventure! Being organized and knowing what to bring to your apartment can make the transition a smooth one amidst the often not so fun stressors of hauling large boxes and furniture on a hot or rainy moving day. The following is a suggested list of items for a basic start. A key factor to a successful move and start to independent living is: “Simpler is better.”

Meal plan - breakfast

Meal planning is key to healthy, balanced eating and spending your grocery budget wisely. Having a meal plan and proper ingredients in your apartment will help you be prepared to nourish your body so that you can be at your best every day. Everyone’s meal plan will be unique and should be a true representation of your week. Meal planning can be done as frequently as a student desires or just once and used as a guide through a whole semester.

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