There are many issues commonly experienced by college students that can lead to stress and depression. Some of the common stress triggers for students are not doing well academically, financial issues and feeling overloaded from juggling too many things at once, particularly those who are parents or who have full time jobs. Mental health problems are much more frequent than is commonly known and many college students are unable to afford therapy or counseling, therefore I would encourage you to take advantage of the resources our school has to offer.
The Counseling Center at GCC is free and located in the health center in the first floor San Rafael. Currently, due to realities surrounding COVID-19, services are offered online and by phone.
One GCC student told El Vaquero she originally went to the Counseling Center because she was tired due to night classes and heard that they let students take naps there. She then felt like she needed to speak to someone professionally about her personal life.
“I kind of pushed it down… The need to resolve my issues, and I wanted to talk to somebody that can help me out to get to know myself better,” she said.
She has only had two sessions with a counselor at GCC and she already feels like it has helped her out considerably and that they gave her tools to help reach her personal goals.
“It’s made a huge impact in my life and I’m sure it can do that for other students,” she added.
There is a stigma when it comes to talking about our mental health because some fear being seen as emotionally unstable.
“A lot of times I feel like we don’t resolve things, we pile everything up in a backpack and put it on, we carry around all the pain and all of the things that have happened to us before. We don’t talk about it because we have this idea that people who are vulnerable or who speak about their problems are weak. Everybody doesn’t wanna seem like they are weak,” the student said. “But als, a lot of the time people who seek help or counseling, it’s not always about a mental health problem. Sometimes it’s just to become a better person.”
Counseling can be helpful for you even if you’re not going through personal issues and just need a space to talk it out. Counselors help you with a variety of other things. They can be a huge help for you to reach your educational goals, in addition to helping you learn skills such as problem solving, planning ahead, helping you see the positive side of life and helping you prepare for academic challenges better.
Sometimes when you bottle things up, you find other ways to cope with them. College students make up one of the largest groups of drug abusers and young people are at a heightened risk of addiction. Many students use substances to cope with issues they are having, whether it be academic, financial or personal matters like a breakup. Asking for help is doing yourself a favor and one student referred to it as “giving yourself a gift.” It’s a better solution than dealing with your issues with things that are only going to make you feel worse at the end of the day.
Naima Hassan can be reached at [email protected]