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Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.Licensed Marriage/Family TherapistLicensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor405-707-9600/ peggyferguson@peggyferguson.com

College Success Articles

Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor

Articles on College Success By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

To access the articles, just click on the title of the article. It will open in a separate word document that can be saved to your computer and/or printed off.  All articles are copyrighted.  We welcome you to use them for your own information and to share them with others as long as you cite my authorship, provide website information/link, and do not edit them.


Surviving Your First Heart Break:

Don't Let Your Break Up Derail Your Momentum in College 

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. 

It has been on-again and off-again for a while.  But now it's really over.  The pain of your first broken heart is immense and immeasurable.  There is no other pain like the loss of a love.  Nothing else compares with it.  It is heart wrenching.  A romantic breakup can even feel like withdrawal in drug addiction.  It can impair your ability to make decisions, to concentrate, to be motivated, and to stay engaged in your life goals. 

When you enter into a romantic relationship, you embrace hope.  You experience a flood of neuro-chemicals that make you giddy with joy, nervousness, and excitement.  You expect those euphoric feelings to last forever.  You and your love make plans for lots of wonderful things that you will do together in the future.  Those plans take on all the expectations of "promises".  When your relationship ends, some of the biggest losses experienced are the losses of fantasies of what could have been and the hurt of broken promises. 

Another often unrecognized loss is the devastation of coherence of your own identity.  When we entrust ourselves profoundly to a romantic relationship, we not only gain intimate knowledge of the other person's inner composition, we get to know ourselves within the context of that relationship.   In the early days of the relationships, a kind of emotional enmeshment is common and a kind of merging of personalities seems to occur.  When the other person leaves the loss can devastate your sense of self.  Those with low self esteem are especially vulnerable to give up pieces of who they are in order to be loved or accepted by the other person.  When the relationship ends, the loss experienced can be more profound with the belief that you gave "everything" to the relationship and were still abandoned.  This belief reinforces other self-denigrating beliefs and further damages already low self esteem and self-efficacy.  To read the rest of the article, follow this link:  Surviving Your First Heart Break


Why Am I So Stressed Out About College and

What Can I Do About It?

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

Going off to college may be one of the most exciting days of your life, but it is stressful.  It is a time of tremendous change which requires much adjustment and the quick learning of new skills.  Stress involves perception.  People assess their situations in terms of demands on their abilities and/or resources and their internal and external resources to meet those demands.  When they perceive the demands to be possibly greater than the resources, they experience stress.

When heading off to college you probably don’t exactly know what your resources are. You probably do not know what the real demands will be.  In addition to trying to determine whether you have what it takes to meet academic demands, you might be trying to figure out how hard it will be to meet new people and make new friends, how you will balance your time and energy for academic vs. social pursuits, and whether you have the self-discipline to pull it all off.  To read the rest of this article, follow this link: Why Am I So Stressed About College and What Can I Do About It?


Start Now to Develop the Self-discipline
You Need to Return To School In Early Addiction Recovery

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D. 

With the beginning of the next semester just around the corner, now is the time to begin to develop the self-discipline skills you need for a successful return to academics.  For many people in early recovery (or late recovery for that matter), self-discipline has been a vaguely understood concept and a mostly illusive goal that still baffles, frustrates, and serves as an emotional "hot" button in relationships. 

Lack of self-discipline is often a cornerstone issue in addiction.  Without self-discipline, many people struggle in vain to accomplish goals, to achieve their potential, and to develop self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-determination.  By the time that alcoholics and addicts have found their way into recovery, they have identified low self-esteem and poor self-confidence to be core addiction and recovery issues.  Many recovering folks have not believed that their own behaviors, decisions, thoughts, and feelings have very little actual impact on their life circumstances.  Many have believed themselves to be victims of "bad luck", of being disliked and mistreated, and of being misunderstood.   The idea that it takes more than intention to accomplish change in your life, is part of the disconnect that makes self-discipline so illusive.  You can intend to run a marathon next year, but unless you develop a plan, get off couch and train on a regular basis, you probably will not accomplish your goal.  To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  Start Now to Develop the Self-discipline You Need to Return To School In Early Addiction Recovery


College is a Stressful Time

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


Parents send their kids off to college with words of encouragement like, “college is the best time your life”.  Everyone seems to expect a smooth transition into college where the young adult fits seamlessly into the fabric of their chose university with very little stress or strain.  The expectation is that going off to college means that the young person is entering a new phase of life that provides a great opportunity for exploration, growth, and development.  It is a cluster of great opportunities.

College is also a time of great stress.  For many college students, this first time of being away from home for extended period of time is scary.  Their support system is somewhere else, and even though parents are just a phone call away, the young person is on their own.  This young person has typically been provided with consistency, structure, prepared meals, verbalized expectations, and built-in external accountability.  Now, for the first time in their lives, they have relatively little externally provided structure and accountability.   To read the rest of this article, follow this link: College is a Stressful Time. 


Reducing End of Semester Stress By Eliminating Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior

 By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.


If you are one of those people who habitually find yourself stressing out and cramming for finals at the end of the semester, there are a few things that you can do that will change that and improve your grade point average as well.

Of course it is a no-brainer to say “Don’t procrastinate.”  Many people tell me that they know they are procrastinators, that it causes them all kinds of problems and distress, and that they cannot make themselves not procrastinate.  You may not know why you procrastinate.  There are many reasons that people procrastinate.  You may be self-sabotaging.  Perfectionism and/or low self esteem may prohibit you from getting started, staying on target, or completing projects.  You may not have the academic skills needed nor the assertiveness to ask for help.  You may not have basic organizational or time management skills.   To read the rest of this article follow this link:  Reducing End of Semester Stress By Eliminating Your Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Helpful Links on Drinking and The College Student:






Dave Ramsey has a good article on Student Loans.  Although student loans can be the very best reason to borrow money, student loans can certainly be abused.  Check out his article at:  http://www.daveramsey.com/article/student-loans-arent-just-for-school-anymore/lifeandmoney_college?ectid=1208cnlextra_2

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Copyright: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., 116 W. 7th, Suite 211, Stillwater, OK 74074, phone 405-707-9600, fax 405-707-9601, email peggyferguson@hotmail.com, http://www.peggyferguson..com

Serving Stillwater (74074, 74075, 74076), Perry (73077), Perkins (74059), Cushing (74023), Pawnee (74058), Guthrie (73044), Ponca City (74601, 74602, 74604), Morrison (73061), and other local communities.

Providing services for Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Chemical Dependency, Sex Addiction, Mental Health Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Addiction Recovery, Drug Abuse, Spouse of sex addict, Relapse prevention, Drug cravings, Family Business Issues, Couple Money Issues, Co-dependency, Adult Children of Alcoholism Issues, Cross-addiction, Co-occurring disorders, marital family therapy, marriage family counseling, step-parenting, step-family issues, couple money issues, grief, mid-life issues, infidelity.  Providing individual, group, marriage, family, and couples sessions.  Providing professional supervision and training and consultation services.



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