Survivor: The college years

Whether it’s going off to college, stressing over a thesis or taking finals, students can find any help they need dealing with all their issues from professional sources on campus.

One such source, the USF Counseling Center for Human Development, offers personal counseling on an individual or group basis to all registered USF students. According to Dr. Leonard Kirklen, clinical coordinator of the center, the counseling can concentrate on anything from adjusting to being away from home to relationships, family problems/concerns or self-esteem issues.

“The center can help with just about anything the student might experience from behavioral to emotional issues,” Kirklen said. “We deal with substance abuse issues as well.”

The center offers a variety of different programs that can assist with problems students may have. The Learn Program focuses on academic skills and their development and offers three different courses, which can be taken for college credit. According to Kirklen, the skills have to do with studying, test taking, reading comprehension, time management and test anxiety.

“Workshops that help with these problems are also offered at the end of each semester for those who may have realized too late that there was a problem,” Kirklen said.

According to Kirklen, self-esteem, stress management, conversation skills and procrastination also have their own workshops throughout this academic year. These workshops are provided by the Outreach and Consultation Program.

“A lot of students we see are severely depressed or do not have significant emotional problems; most just have problems with adjusting to college and the transition to becoming an adult,” Kirklen said. “Nothing about this indicates that they are crazy or cannot handle their issues.”

Kirklen feels that most students initially are concerned about the stigma of counseling, but he said the center promotes the opposite environment. The goal, Kirklen said, is to provide information, guidance and education to students, and they are able to do so through counseling.

Another option for students who need help with academic issues is a tutor or a tutoring service. Certain departments within the university offer labs staffed with tutors of specific subjects.

The USF math department also offers a website for those who need help with certain courses offered on campus. The USF Math Center can be accessed by students and individuals not registered at USF.

“There are so many people who have trouble with math,” said Ignacio Bello, a math professor at USF. “We created the website because we understand that not everyone can show up (to tutoring sessions) because they commute, work, or some other reason.”

The website offers information and tutoring in four different mathematics courses and also helps tutor those who need help with the math portion of the CLAST.

For those students who may have a hard time in different subjects that don’t support their own tutors, help is still available. Private tutors are available for just about any subject. Private tutors, however, are often pricey. Most have a fee dependant on the amount of help a student requires.

“I am much more of an artistic person, so I used a private tutor to help out with my composition courses,” Todd Cruz, a student, said. “Even though I had to pay, it cost less money and embarrassment than failing the course and having to retake it.”