For many students, transitioning into college life can be hard.
Jason Siewert, licensed psychologist, works at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Counseling Center in Delzell Hall and said he understands college is both a tough and exciting time for students.
“In college, it’s hard to build a social network from scratch. Usually, to me, the academic and social adjustments emerge first,” Siewert said.
Siewert said he recommends students struggling with the stressors of college should not only take care of their mental health but physical health as well.
“If you are very, very stressed out, the situation will be made worse if you are utterly exhausted as well,” Siewert said. “People that let their general health habits slide sometimes have the toughest outcomes.”
Siewert said no one is forced into counseling, but students who want help have ways to get help.
“You don’t always need to have an outsider help you, but I think it’s important that students know that this resource exists because we can offer feedback and support,” Siewert said.
Kelsey Richmond, licensed psychologist, also works at the center and said she believes it takes courage for a student to discuss mental health.
“It can feel easier to pretend there isn’t a problem and hope that pretense makes us feel stronger. But, to say, ‘I’m having a hard time and I want to feel better’ takes bravery,” Richmond said. “It shows accountability for your experiences and caring that you deserve to live a satisfied life.”
Junior psychology major Klayton Fritz visited the center frequently during hardship.
“I was going through some hard times last semester, and I went because I needed someone to talk to. I felt like I was able to talk to the counselor openly and not be judged. Since they are educated, I felt like they could understand and give me professional help,” Fritz said.
At the time, Fritz said he was having trouble reaching out to friends and lacked motivation to go to class.
“It really affected my education because, by skipping classes, I was missing valuable information. It was hard because I didn’t want to skip, but I felt like I needed to,” Fritz said.
Doing calming and healthy activities have improved his mental health, Fritz said.
“I listen to music and that really helps me calm down when I am stressed,” he said. “Sometimes taking a walk or watching a movie is very helpful. I think more people need to take time for themselves to get better.”
Fritz said those struggling should not be afraid to ask for help.
“The counseling center is a really cool thing, especially if you are having issues telling friends about your hardships,” he said. “It’s nice to talk to counselors because they don’t judge you.”