POSTED: Monday, August 19, 2013 - 10:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 10:23am
Tyler TX (KETK) — Your 18-year-old is ready to leave the nest.
He or she has probably been talking about it all summer, the first year of college, living on their own and gaining their independence.
But, without the support system from home, some college students will feel stressed and depressed.
"It's growing up it's a new world," said UT Tyler Junior Aaron Dunn.
The first day of college is always nerve racking.
"It's intimidating especially going into a new place you don't know your way around the area it can be really scary," said UT Tyler Senior Julia Kasak.
Psychologist Stephen Westmoreland says it's normal to feel stressed, anxious or nervous when you first go off to college.
"It is an additional jump. It's a little wider river to leap across when they leave their home but the discomfort will be temporary I think that's very important."
Dr. Westmoreland says if the feeling does not go away, it could be a sign of a bigger issue.
"Homesickness is normal depression isn't normal," said Dr. Westmoreland.
College requires you to jump out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
"It was hard because I was leaving home and I hadn't been away from home for that long so I was nervous," said UT Tyler Junior Eduardo Medina.
New research shows not being able to adapt to your college environment, can lead to serious depression.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 30% of college students reported feeling "so depressed that it was difficult to function."
Dr. Westmoreland said it's important to talk to your child before he or she goes off to college and keep an open line of communication.
"That's the big problem with most adolescents it's like being in the middle of a storm and you don't know when it's going to be over. But, most bad things come to an end and encouragement goes a long way."