Student Storyteller Ambika Raval met with Counsellor Cliff Robinson to discuss how counsellors can promote and assist with personal growth, academic performance and professional development. Here are some tips on how to navigate student life – all the way from orientation to convocation – with the help of Student Services.
- Maintain well-being
When it comes to developing healthy habits, small changes add up over time. Robinson indicates that fitness, nutrition, sleep hygiene and social time with loved ones are essential to well-being. Making minor adjustments and improvements can help avoid an “all or nothing” approach, which can impact sustainability.
- Accept change
The shift from student life to newly graduated to a working professional is one of life’s most significant adjustments. However, Robinson believes acknowledging your ability to deal with life’s transitions is part of accepting change. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again!
- Don’t wait for an emergency
It might take up to four weeks to see a counsellor at peak times, so planning is important. If you’re seeing a counsellor regularly, consider booking the next appointment right after your last one ends. Using apps like Here2Talk, Calm and Mindshift for the in-between times can ensure your mental health feels consistently balanced. If you experiencing a crisis, Student Services does operate through an intake process and reserves emergency timeslots. Robinson recommends establishing a contingency plan with your support system when you’re feeling calm and clear-headed so you’re prepared for a challenging mental health day.
- Avoid playing the comparison game
The demands of student life can be intense; it’s perfectly okay to ask for help. Be mindful not to compare your struggles to someone else, even if you think your problems aren’t that big a deal. If you’re grappling with something, it’s worthy of support.
- Take care of yourself before, after, and in between each appointment
Take notes before or between counselling sessions, and review them before the appointment to ensure you’re clear on what you’d like to discuss. During the appointment, feel free to dress in comfy clothes, bring a tea or water bottle, or bring a fidget – whatever you feel you need. After the appointment, don’t jump back into your daily routine. Take a walk, breathe, and give yourself time and space to reflect and decompress.
Counselling services are available online and in-person; through Student Services, there’s a network of support options such as the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy, Cplul’kw’ten and Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response.
For more information, Student Services is located in OM 1631, open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-828-5023.