Mansfield Hall is a comprehensive living and learning community for college students – not a clinical or therapeutic placement – but we do understand that some students have anxiety and may need specialized attention and support in order to find success in college and their transition to independence.
Anxiety can manifest in a number of ways, including social anxiety, specific academic or performance anxiety (i.e. test taking or oral presentations), or generalized anxiety – and each of these can negatively impact a student’s ability to succeed in college if they are not addressed or supported. Social anxiety can lead students to isolation, withdrawal, and a pervasive loneliness which makes initiating or sustaining social engagement ever-more challenging in a self-fueling spiral. Academic and performance anxiety can keep students from demonstrating their content mastery, and the fear of imperfection is too-often the enemy of the good. For instance, there is no such thing as the perfect research paper – but striving for perfection too-often results in a failure to turn in a good one – which can mean students fail classes, despite having A or B level work sitting at home on their desk. Generalized anxiety can crop up in all of these areas, but also other aspects of a student’s life – and the fear, frustration, or crippling inability to start or follow through with all aspects of college life can quickly snowball into an accumulation of overwhelming challenges.
But it does not have to be this way. Anxiety, when managed and appropriately addressed, is normal, natural, and simply one element of the full human experience. It does not have to be an impediment to success in college, and empowering students to address, face, and overcome anxiety empowers them to become, and be, the active and central character in their own evolving narrative.
It is not uncommon for our students to have experienced some form of anxiety, and at Mansfield Hall we work closely with students to help them identify, address, and proactively overcome the normal anxieties which can, when left unaddressed, escalate into insurmountable challenges. Through constant support, coaching, feedback, goal setting, scaffolding, chunking, pre- and post-processing, mindfulness techniques, and by keeping students connected and engaged in a safe and supportive social community we are able to help many students work through the early stages of anxiety and find success – long before things spin out of control. While Mansfield Hall is not a clinical treatment model, we do know that the aspects of social connection, a healthy lifestyle, and active and activated supports can all provide significant protective factors for students who are otherwise at risk of anxiety sabotaging their chances of success in college.
To learn more about Mansfield Hall’s social community and our evidence-based best practices please visit our website or contact us for more information about how we help students succeed in college and prepare for independence.