Counseling Center and Stress Management

Center for Counseling and Student Development
(252) 328-6661
137 Umstead Bldg

As you start your college career you are bound to run into some stressful situations.  The Center for Counseling and Student Development wants to see you develop a sense of well-being and have the skills necessary to positively cope with the stress you experience as a college student.  Some of the adjustment issues you could possibly experience are coping with homesickness, developing a positive self-image, clarifying values, building self esteem/self confidence and discovering oneself.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and/or your academics are in jeopardy we want you to strongly consider getting help BEFORE it's too late.  We have a top-notch counseling center that may help with issues such as:

  • Depression
  • Relationship issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Managing feelings of loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sexual harassment
  • Family issues
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
They also maintain many online resources about the above issues.  Students are encouraged to explore their self-help options!

We also want you to feel comfortable in coming to us with concerns no matter how insignificant you may feel they are.  If it is hindering your ability to succeed in school, then it is a serious matter to us!  We may refer you to the Center for Counseling and Development or allow you the opportunity to vent your concerns in a safe and confidential environment.  We want to see you develop a sense of competence, direction, and belonging.  Whether it be Social issues, career concerns, academic or life skills, we want to help. We will be glad to talk with you about:

  • Improving study skills
  • Meeting academic expectations
  • Major and career exploration
  • Goal setting

Common STRESSORS... what could you expect to experience each month?

Below is a month by month example of stressors that you or a friend might be experiencing.  This does not imply that you will or should experience these situations.  We simply wanted you to be aware of the stressful events you could be facing as the semesters progress.  It is a normal to experience these feelings.  Don’t feel alone; many students will feel it as well.  What we hope you will do is recognize where the stress is coming from in your life and be able to address it in a healthy manner.  Remember there are services on campus to help you address these stressors if it is too much to handle on your own.

September – Homesickness, especially for first year students:

  • Students are confronted with questions of conscience over value conflict areas such as race, drugs and alcohol experimentation, morality, religion, and social expectations.
  • Feelings of inadequacy and inferiority develop because of the discrepancy between high school status, grades, and initial college performance.
  • Students feel depressed of real or perceived restrictive confusion, vulnerability, and lack of any advocate in power positions.

October – Students begin to realize that life at college is not as perfect as they were led to believe:

  • Grief develops because of inadequate skills for finding a group or not being selected by one.
  • Mid-term work-load pressures are followed by failure and loss of self-esteem.
  • Long distance relationships begin to show signs of faltering.
  • Job panic for mid-term graduates.

November – Academic pressure is beginning to mount because of procrastination, and difficulty of work:

  • Depression and anxiety increase because of feelings that one should have adjusted by now.
  • Economic anxiety; funds from parents and summer earnings begin to run out.
  • Some students have stopped trying to establish relationships.
  • Seniors stress over finding an internship for the next semester.

December – Holidays and End of semester blues:

  • Extracurricular time strain; seasonal parties, concerts, social service projects, religious activities, family expectations drain students energies.
  • Anxiety, fear, guilt increase as final examinations approach and projects are due.
  • Pre-Holiday depression; especially for those that have concerns for family, those who have no home to visit, and for those who prefer not to go home due to family conflicts.
  • Feelings of loss for loved ones that have passed away.
  • Financial strain because of gifts and travel.
  • Anxiety due to telling parents bad news about grades. Fear of how they will react.
  • Missing friends from college while at home over break. Missing relationship partners.

January – Back to school:

  • Increasing sense that this semester has to be better than the last.
  • Second round of missing home.
  • Not wanting to disappoint family.
  • College age students tend to lose family members such as Grandparents.
  • Parents may be dealing with empty nest syndrome and guilt sets in for leaving them.

February – Falling into the same trap:

  • Despite readjusting attitude, students tend to fall into the same trap of procrastination and realize that it is not as easy to break the habit as first thought.
  • Couples either experience stronger ties or see evidence of them weakening.
  • Depression increases for those who have failed to establish social relationships.
  • Inactivity snowballs into decreased desire to leave room.
  • Anxiety over vocational choice.

March – Drug and alcohol use increases:

  • Depression can stir as students anticipate leaving friends for the summer.
  • Academic pressure increases.
  • Anxiety over progressing in program of choice or having to sit out/repeat requirements.
  • Being left behind during spring break, having to work, not having enough money.
  • Seniors deal with crisis “Must I leave school? Is my education worth anything? Will I have to move back home? Where will I find a job? Should I go to grad school? Will be accepted?

April – Mid terms:

  • Frustration and confusion develop because of decisions necessary for pre-registration.
  • Summer job pressure.
  • Considering change of major.
  • School projects pile up.
  • Mounting pressure causes some students to give up.

May – Year is ending:

  • Senior panic over jobs.
  • Depression over leaving friends.
  • Anxiety over living situations for the next year.
  • Pressure from finals.