Almost all students feel some level of stress. Find out what kind of help is available at your university, whether the problem is small or big.
When you leave home to study abroad for the first time, the pressures of school and social life, as well as the sudden feeling that you’re an adult, can be both exciting and overwhelming.
Universities all over the world know how important it is to help students deal with stress, so they offer a wide range of support services.
You might not think your stress is bad enough to get help, but it’s always better to do something sooner rather than later.
And if the idea of one-on-one counseling scares you, it’s likely not your only choice. Universities like University College London (UCL) offer group sessions to help first-year students with things like how to stop putting things off and how to deal with stress.
The Student Online Support Service at UCL is another formal resource that the university has set up to help students solve different kinds of problems by helping each other.
Catherine McAteer, who is the Manager and Senior Counsellor at UCL’s Student Counselling Service, thinks that peer help is a great way for undergraduates to get help.
She says, “We reach students where they are and provide them the kind of support they can use at any given time,”
“Utilizing the online system can be a stepping stone to overcoming stress or seeking later support.” Students who might not feel comfortable enough to talk to a counselor can also choose from a wide range of books at the UCL counseling center.
Dr. Olivera Bojic-Ognjenovic, a counselor and therapist at the University of Toronto’s Counselling & Learning Skills Service, says that many of the same things stress out undergraduates.
She says that it’s important to deal with stress before it gets too bad. “When exams are coming up, the center is very busy. Students aren’t always worried about getting the grades they want, but when they’re stressed, problems like depression can come to the surface.”
The University of Toronto has even gone the extra step of making a meditation room for people who need peace and quiet.
Bojic-Ognjenovic does say that many students are just worried about how well they do in school. He says that increased competition over the past few years has definitely led to more stress among college students.
The good news is that it’s no longer rude to ask for help, no matter how little or much. Dr. Bojic-Ognjenovic and her colleagues think that more male students are coming forward to improve their academic and social careers. What used to be “not cool” is now the norm.
It can be hard to avoid stress, but the university has ways to help. Preventive steps like dealing with problems as soon as they come up are great, but if you feel like you can’t get rid of your stress, do a little research to find out what your university can offer.