With college comes independence from parents, studying subjects you actually want to study, and meeting new people. It can be one of the best times of your life.
However, sometimes the freedom that college brings can stifle students during times of trouble and frustration. Instead of seeking the proper help, students may flounder instead, not knowing whom to turn to without parental guidance.
The good news is that colleges often offer a wealth of resources. The bad news is that sometimes these resources go unknown to students until after they graduate and are long gone.
Here are 6 ways to seek help in college:
1. “I’m homesick/depressed.”
Find your school’s counseling center. Plenty of students seek help for everything from roommate problems to trouble adjusting following study abroad experiences. Also, check to see if your school offers any kind of programs to combat homesickness or depression. Some schools bring therapy dogs to campus to help students on “Dog Days.” If your school doesn’t offer anything like this, get involved and see if you can help bring something similar to campus!
2. “I’m gonna fail this class.”
There’s almost no reason to fail a class in college unless you do absolutely nothing. First, start with tutoring services or going to a writing center. If this isn’t the route you want to go, then form a study group in one of your classes. Also, professors are almost always available during office hours—ask them for help. They want you to learn.
3. “I need a ride off campus.”
Investigate your school’s transportation services. Many schools have shuttles or Zipcars. Bike rentals are also popular, in addition to Ride Boards, where students can post transportation assistance they may need and other students can respond. Look into public transportation in the area, too. If your school doesn’t offer any of these amenities, find out what it would take to get these kind of services offered to students.
4. “I can’t seem to make any friends.”
Once again, Counseling Services are available for students in these types of situations. Also, RAs (resident advisers) are available to students, as part of their job is to help students be happy and safe in their educational environment. If your RA is a particularly crappy one, find one on another floor. Also, Counseling Services and RAs will probably tell you the same thing: Get involved, whether it’s in student organizations or Greek life.
5. “I have the flu.”
No, Mommy and Daddy aren’t around to nurse you back to health with chicken soup and tea anymore. First, head to your school’s infirmary; it has everything you need to combat common colds and other illnesses. If you’re experiencing something more severe, you can get referrals, often with free transport to hospitals in the area. College students are notorious for neglecting their health, which is why illnesses run rampant on campuses across the country.
6. “I’m afraid I’ll never find a job that I like.”
Many students don’t start thinking about careers until they are handed the diploma. The good news is that it’s never too early to start thinking about post-college life. Even if you are struggling to find a major, visit your office of Career Services to see what kind of career counseling they offer or even assessments. Their job is to help students, but they can’t assist them unless students come to the office.
If you read any reviews of colleges on the College Prowler website, you will see students tell prospective freshmen that college “is what you make of it.” You may be on your own in college, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seek help in times of trouble. Plus, sometimes when the help you need doesn’t exist (for example, your school doesn’t offer Zipcars), your attention to this matter and involvement can help bring these services to campus, in turn, helping future students in similar situations.