Available to Help Students Cope With Stress
Counselling Services served more than 700 students
in September and October
If you're stressed out, you're certainly not alone.
There's more than enough stress to go around for students
these days as assignments and essays grind on and final
exams near. Then there's the added pressure of dealing with
roommates, paying bills and coping with the many other demands
that life sends along.
If it's getting to be too much, help is available through
Counselling Services in the University Centre, the Wellness
Centre (part of Student Health Services) in the Powell Building,
residence assistants in campus residences, and the Student
Support Network and the Multi-Faith Resource Team in Raithby
"There are many stresses on students' lives these
days, more so than ever before," says Bruno Mancini,
director of Counselling and Student Development. The signs
of stress can range from lack of motivation, lack of confidence
and tiredness to depression and extreme anxiety.
"Students all react differently," he says. "Most
responses to stress are normal and to be expected. But for
some students, more serious reactions can occur, such as
major depression and severe anxiety disorders, which can
lead to greater dysfunctionality. These need to be addressed
and dealt with appropriately."
Counselling Services served more than 700 students in September
and October, an increase of 17 per cent over last year.
Mancini says that could be due to the fact that there are
more students on campus this fall or that people are being
more open about seeking help.
"We try to help them develop the resources, strength,
insights and strategies to cope with things," he says.
Mancini sees students stressed by the struggles of academic
workload, relationship issues, family difficulties, the
increased competition for professional and graduate schools,
and concerns about employment and debt.
"It's expensive coming to university, and parents
are more involved," he says. "It used to be people
went to university to find out who they are, what they're
going to do. Now parents are more involved in the educational
system from day one. It can be very positive and supportive,
but it can be intrusive, too, in terms of expectations and
the fact that students are more dependent on their parents
Prof. Judith McKenzie, Political Science, reports that
she is seeing "enormous numbers" of students,
especially first-year students, who are looking for help.
"Given the stresses many members of the double cohort
class have been subjected to trying to get into university,
this is the second year of stress they're experiencing."
Prof. Carol Dauda, Political Science, who teaches two large
first-year courses, says she finds students are especially
stressed if they have an exam on the first day of the exam
period or if most of their exams are in the first week.
Both professors have observed that students appear to be
taking their work more seriously this year, which could
be attributed to the work ethic the double cohort has developed
to get to university in the first place.
"I have had notably higher mid-term averages,"
says Dauda. "I think this is because students are really
working hard. I can see this incredible push by my students,
this incredible energy."
For more information about services available on campus
to help students deal with stress, visit the website www.uoguelph.ca/students.shtml.