I’m recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations in Spring 2014.
Now that I’ve graduated I have a wealth of experiences that I would like to share about my college experience that I hope can help you have a better experience than I had. As of now I am hunting for professional employment in my field. I hope that my journey may help improve your journey.
One of the hardest things for people to admit is that they need help. It’s even harder to admit that we need mental help. The truth is everyone needs mental help, because everyone’s crazy, in one way or another. Don’t take it the wrong way, it’s human. Everyone has some deep hidden issue that causes them act a certain way or react to certain situations in a certain way and to not seek help for these issues will cause these issues to build up and it could have adverse effects later down the line, it’s often a major reason for our successes and failures in life.
So how do you get help? If you’re a college student or prospecting college student, the last thing you’d think about is counseling services. Most schools offer free counseling services and some offer it at an affordable price. So, if you can’t get it free, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. Counseling services are becoming an even bigger importance to academic institutions, because they increase retention for schools which is important for academic and financial reasons.
There are also various forms of counseling. They have the more traditional individual and group counseling sessions but there are also more fun, therapeutic and experimental counseling sessions and activities that are offered as well. No matter your issue there’s a counseling method that may suit you. Of course, everything you discuss is and will always be kept privately between you and the counselor and even in group sessions secrets are often kept because everyone is sharing their own secrets. The only exception is if it’s something may endanger you or others. The counselors will tell you initially under what circumstances they will have to alert the authorities on. So as long as you’re not trying to kill or harm a bunch of people or yourself in any way you don’t have anything to worry about. But if you are trying to or thinking about it, you should want them to help you and get someone to prevent you or help prevent you from harming yourself and/or others.
If you’re concerned about dropping out or not being able to make it to graduation after that horrible semester, counseling will definitely help you. My biggest advice is to do it as early as possible. I waited until the last semester of my senior year and I still have a lot of issues that I would have been able to figure out if I had gotten help sooner than later. As a graduate, now I have to pay out of pocket (Super Pricey). Counseling doesn’t necessarily improve your grades, but it will help you correct behavior that affects your grades. So if you’re bad at math, counseling can’t help you with that, but it may help you stop procrastinating or participating in activities that may hinder your ability to study enough to get better at math. At the end of the day studying is the only activity that can save your grades. No other way around it.
When telling others about the benefits of counseling, I often here that they have people to talk to about their issues, be it friends, family or church services. While those entities and people are still important to your mental health, professional counselors perform in a much more objective fashion. They don’t look at things from a spiritual sense, nor do they try to tell you what’s right or wrong, they try to help you get to the truth of what’s really going on in your head that’s causing the problem. Friends and Family can only do so much and religious organizations deal more with spiritual health which is a much different field. Their services only attack the spiritual side of your problem. You must attack both to get your desired results. So if you’re spiritual or religious or just don’t trust people you don’t know, you can still talk the people and institutions you trust, it’s just counseling will allow you to even further identify your issues which may allow your loved ones and religious counselors to be better equipped to identify your problem and help you in the ways that they can.
The biggest hindrance to your progress is you. Simply going to counseling doesn’t make you better. You have to work for that as well. Just as you study for a better grade you have to study yourself to get better at yourself. (If that makes any sense.) You have to be honest about yourself, what you feel and why you feel that way. It doesn’t matter how selfish, mean, arrogant, or bad it is, if you feel that way say it, because in counseling only the truth can set you free. The more you hold back the less you get out of it. You may find yourself revealing things to your counselor that you’d never tell a friend or religious authority. As I’ve said before, do not worry about anything you say being revealed and the counselor does not judge you. You could be the biggest jerk they’ve ever counseled; they won’t judge or tell you what’s right or wrong. So go ahead and let it all out. You could have an entire venting session if you’d like. Just let your deepest thoughts and feelings out, you’ll leave feeling like a feather.
Spring semester is coming up. I know for you freshmen, you’ve gotten beat up your first semester, it’s ok, we’ve all been there. So if you want to make it right next semester, first day of Spring, go to the counseling office and see what works best for you. You’d be surprised how many people you know are getting help so don’t be embarrassed. You’ll thank yourself for it by the end of the semester and beyond. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have a problem. You’re probably not crazy, but you still need help.