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College is a time of adjustment: making friends, navigating academics, and staying healthy—physically and mentally. To ensure your success, it’s good to know what’s available if you need support. Here are some of the offices to check out now, before you need them:
Academic Advising and Deans
These people support your class and major decisions, and can point the way to other help. If your assigned advisor isn’t the best match, you can request a new one.
Lots of students turn to tutors or academic coaches for assistance with papers, presentations, technological dilemmas, and more.
Academic Support Programs
- Writing tutors
- Thesis mentors
- Public speaking/presentation coaches
- A computer/technology help-desk
- Support for people with disabilities
- Career advisors
- Experiential learning programs
Your campus health center isn’t just for treating illness and injury. Many provide wellness exams, sexual health consultations, health education, and immunizations. Some even offer physical therapy, travel medicine clinics, pharmacy, and other services. Of course, if you’re sick or hurt, knowing how to see a health care provider is essential. Before you need one, find out how to make an appointment and the hours of operation. Is there 24-hour coverage? What should you do in an emergency? Where’s the nearest hospital?
Many students think that seeing a counselor is only for those with serious mental illness. According to the 2011 National College Health Assessment, however, more than 40 percent of students seek help for emotional concerns. Counselors are available if you feel overwhelmed and stressed, depressed or anxious, struggle with substance abuse, want to support a friend, or just need someone to talk to. Strict rules of confidentiality mean your situation will not be discussed without your permission (unless you are in immediate danger of hurting yourself or others).
More Examples of Campus Resources
Those quiet areas, study stalls, and stacks aren’t just for napping. Librarians and other staff are fantastic sources of information. They can recommend online research tools, creative ways to think about a topic, and offer expertise in how to reference correctly.
Many campuses offer a drop-in setting where peer tutors and faculty or administrators offer assistance with papers. They can help you refine your writing style, use correct bibliographic formats, learn how to write lab reports, and more.
Career advisors can help you strengthen your resume and interviewing skills, find on- or off-campus jobs and internships, and provide insight into work that matches your interests.
Campuses often support a diverse group of religious and spiritual organizations. There may be services right on campus and/or clergy to consult. Some also offer non-denominational programs designed to bring the community together for reflection and connection.
Your school may have a team of peer health educators who offer programs and one-on-one consultation to talk about issues such as sexual health, drinking and other drug use, nutrition, body image, and healthy relationships. Some campuses also offer peer counseling, such as a crisis hotline or program for sexual assault survivors.
Remember: if you find yourself needing support, you are not alone. Your school wants you to succeed, and offers tools and resources to help you do just that.
Get help or find out more
A great place to find campus resources is your school’s Web site. Many on-campusprograms will be listed there. If you’re not finding things easily, try typing some key words that describe your need into the search option.
You can also visit the dean of students or campus activities office for recommendations.