The period of time from the end of September to the beginning of November is a time for a lot of students that are very challenging, both academically and personally. It is right in the middle of the semester, and the rest of the semester can seem daunting to a lot of students. I know for me personally, I am halfway through one of my last semesters here at NC State, and that is absolutely terrifying. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and trying my hardest to push through to the end of the semester, and I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
Over my time here at NC State, I have gained a lot of support, both academically and personally. These support systems have been there for me when I needed them the most, and I am so grateful that I was able to build these relationships. I think it is really important to encourage your students to reach out for help and build support systems where they can in order to thrive here on campus. For me, outside of my friends, I found support in a lot of places.
My advice to students is to reach out for help and to build a support system early. Reach out to the Counseling Center if you need help or need to talk to someone. Prioritize your physical and mental health. Talk to your academic advisor about your classes or how your life is going. If you live on campus, talk to your Resident Advisor about how to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. If you have a job, talk to your boss about what you need in terms of support. If you have roommates, talk to them about how they can support you, and how you can support them. Talk to your professors about how your semester is going and how they can help you. Build those relationships early. It may be an uncomfortable conversation upfront to have with someone, but it is so important.
My advice for parents and families is to reach out to your students and see how you can support them. Ask your student what they need from you and truly listen to what they say. If your student comes to you with a problem or concern, try asking them if they want advice or just a listening ear. Encourage them to find support on campus. Help them brainstorm ways to decompress after a long week of classes. Continue to champion your students through their successes and motivate them through the harder times. Talk to your students and normalize conversations about mental health and wellbeing.
For more information about the Counseling Center, please visit https://counseling.dasa.ncsu.edu/. If you are concerned about a student’s mental health, please call the Counseling Center at 919.515.2423.
Students, this semester will be over before we know it. Push through and ask for help when you need it. Parents, continue to support your student and be there for them when they need it.