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Talk Healthy To Me: Part 2

Posted by on Sunday, November 22, 2015 in Academics, College Life, Health, Studying.

The inspiration of this title comes from Alisha’s post about healthy food options and sustainability. However, my blog focusses on mental health.

If you read Inside ‘Dores and talk to current students, it’s not hard to gauge that Vanderbilt is pretty special. With top 15 academics, the work hard-play hard motto, and the happiest students in the nation, Vanderbilt’s appeal is undeniable. However, like any prestigious university, Vanderbilt challenges its students too, and sometimes the stress really gets to you. While reflecting on my role as an Inside ‘Dores blogger, I have come to realize that my writing is far from balanced; I talk a lot about the positives, but not enough about some really challenging days. However, there’s a lot to learn from those gloomy, stressful days.

When I was a freshman, the stress didn’t seem as palpable because my classes were mostly introductory level courses designed to acclimatize freshmen to the rigor of college academics. I was taking fewer hours, and was much less involved on campus than I am now. Although sophomore year has been easier in the sense that I have adjusted to being a college student, have found a stable group of friends, and have a relatively clearer direction about what I want to do with my major in economics, the sophomore slump has been all too real. Sleep deprivation, an overfilled planner, and constantly running from one commitment to another became a part of my routine. I felt overstretched and overcommitted, while sacrificing my ‘me time’. Things became really stressful one week when I had too many midterms, papers, club events, and other personal stuff crop up in a span of a few days. A stressed-out college student is hardly a new thing, but for me, this level of stress wasn’t something I could deal with all alone. That’s when I decided to visit the Psychological and Counseling Center, or PCC as we like to call it.

The PCC is located right behind Wilson Hall, and while as a VUceptor, I had been trained to know about its resources to guide first-years in my Visions group, and had been told about it as a first-year myself, I hadn’t visited it before. But when I walked in, I felt immediately relaxed, and after talking to one of the counselors, I came out of the PCC with a clearer sense of direction, and reprioritization of my commitments.

Sometimes, talking about mental health issues is taboo. I am an international student from India, and India is not a country that likes to about stress, depression, and other mental health issues out in the open. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist! So, I was happy that Vanderbilt is a university that doesn’t dust this issue under the carpet, but connects its students with resources even before they start classes.

Here are some resources you can use if you feel the need to seek out help, or just talk to someone:

  • Triage. If you are having an immediate crisis, you can just walk into the PCC, and request for triage services. You don’t need to make a prior appointment for this.
  • Psychiatric services. These consist of consultations, medical evaluation, and medical management.
  • Individual therapy. You can go for individual therapy sessions for as much or as little as you need to. These consist of one-on-one meetings with a staff member for 45 minute sessions.
  • Group therapy. There are many group therapy sessions on a wide range of issues that you can go to. These are held regularly over the semester.
  • Workshops. These are a great resource to get equipped with some very useful skills. Like group therapy sessions, there are many kinds of workshops to suit a wide range of needs.
  • Academic/Study Skills. These are especially useful during the busy midterm and finals seasons, but many students use them throughout the semester to keep on top of their academic goals.
  • Let’s Talk. One of PCC’s most popular initiatives, this resource provides walk-ins individual consultation sessions all over the campus.

There are many more resources that the PCC offers to all members of the Vanderbilt community, and most of them are free for students. Do check out their website for more information.

Vandy is a pretty special place, and I am so happy with my decision to come here. But sometimes, life can stressful. Shall I let you in on a secret? Vandy doesn’t have the happiest students in the nation because the academics are easy, and everyone is stress-free all the time. We’re the happiest students in the nation (for the second year in the row) because the administration has provided us with so many resources to deal with life’s challenges. That’s what makes Vanderbilt one of the most engaging and supportive campuses ever. So keep calm, and use the resources we have. And above all,

Anchor Down!

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