The Student Counseling Center offers a range of resources and services that help students address adjustment issues and other challenges that they may typically face during their college years. The resources below should not be used as a substitute for seeking help from a counselor.
The fundamental question underlying identity is "Who am I?" This appears to be a fairly simple question, at least on the surface. Yet, after closer examination, one quickly realizes that underneath those three "simple" words lie a rather complex and comprehensive answer, one that is well below the surface. The answer surrounding one's identity is multifaceted and is often informed by several factors including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, individual traits, family dynamics, not to mention the social and political contexts involved at any given time. In fact, identity is a rather fluid construct.
For most people identity development is preceded by some experience that calls into question core aspects of their identity. College is often that experience. It is during this time, when individuals begin to separate from home, establish some independence, gain more knowledge, and encounter different belief systems, that the question of identity is more deeply explored and at times, challenged. The impact of your core identity being challenged will be different for everyone. Below is a list of links that are intended to provide you additional information surrounding various aspects of identity.
Put simply, coping strategies are cognitions (beliefs) or behaviors (actions) an individual will employ to manage stressful life experiences. Whether the stress is academic, financial, physical, psychological, or stemming from any other source, stress is something that resonates with everyone. In other words, everyone experiences stress at one time or another in their life. So, it is with coping; everyone copes in some form or fashion. Generally, people tend to cope in essentially one of two ways, either responding to the stressor using effective strategies (e.g., develop an action plan, exercise, meditation, etc.) or reacting to the stressor using ineffective strategies (e.g., binge drinking, obsessive worrying, isolating, etc.). While there is not necessarily a "right" way to cope, healthy coping has been shown to enhance psychological well-being and strengthen resilience in people. The links below provide additional information on stress, coping, and resilience.
The American Psychological Association has excellent resilience resources.
Learn more about student stress on the Learn Psychology website.
Healthy relationships bring happiness and health to our lives. Studies show that people with healthy relationships really do have more happiness and less stress. Language - as in how we communicate with those around us, our internal dialogue(s), and our understandings of ourselves - plays a larger role in the health of our relationships than one might expect. Although each relationship (e.g., friendships, romantic partners, teammates, etc.) is unique, there are basic ways to make all relationships healthy. Enhancing self-awareness, assessing communication skills, and establishing boundaries are all topics that our Counseling Center can discuss with you.
All of the counselors at the student counseling center have experience working with drug and alcohol abuse as well as other addictive behaviors that can be self-destructive (e.g., online gaming, gambling, etc.). Additionally, we have a Substance Abuse counselor on staff who offers a more direct and focused evaluation of and treatment for alcohol and drug use, which can be adapted to other addictive behavior. We recognize addiction as a mental health concern and offer support accordingly. Listed below are some online resources to find out more about addiction, treatment, and recovery.
Many students struggle with various mental health concerns, none of which are indicators that there is something "wrong" with that student or that they are "weak". While experiences and symptoms related to mental illness can be isolating for students, there is a shared humanity in that coping and a community of support. It can be difficult to identify the root cause of an issue, and all of our counselors are available to meet to discuss this vulnerable topic in a confidential space. Learn more about common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicide and more through the following links.