by Zach Danssaert
We hear it everyday in the dining hall, the café, and the dorm rooms. Someone has a TON of work and they don’t know if they will be able to get it all done. They reach out to their friends, and in return their claim is either validated with a “me too,” or is shut down by someone who might have a “light week.” We all do it, myself included. In times of stress we seek sympathy from friends who are in a similar situation. There is no denying that this interaction can provide a positive feeling for the person complaining. However, for Bowdoin College as a whole I think that we are actually increasing the stress of our entire student body.
Bowdoin College is one of the most rigorous schools in the country. There are times where we are pushed to our limit, and we don’t know if we will be able to overcome. For this reason, it becomes even more important for our student body to create a mental space away from the stresses associated with our schoolwork. This is where complaining becomes a problem. Our ability to get away and take mental breaks is limited when stressful conversations are constantly entering this “stress-free arena.”
In my opinion, our mental health at Bowdoin would be improved if we could create areas on campus where schoolwork is not discussed. Our college is known for having well-rounded happy students. If we could take our minds off of our academic obligations whenever we can, and focus on getting to know the amazing people around us, our mental states would be dramatically improved.
Have you been getting somewhere between 4 and 5 hours of sleep a night? Have you been stress-eating trail mix while cramming for an exam at midnight in the union? Have you been biting your nails so far down that they are now bloody stumps that used to be fingers? If all of these are true, you are either actually me, or you are just plain old stressed out.
In honor of Mental Health Month, Peer Health is on a mission to help you grow your fingernails back—or in other words, to help you de-stress.
The first step towards de-stressing is knowing who to go to. The Counseling Center is one of Bowdoin’s most used, but also most underrated resources on campus. Located just a bop away from any first-year dorm, and no more than 7 minutes away from any location on campus, Bowdoin’s counselors reside on 32 College street, right down the road from Ladd House. Services include:
• individual therapy
• psychological consultations and workshops
• alcohol and substance abuse
• treatment for disordered eating
• biofeedback and mind-body work
• group therapy
• psychiatric consultation and monitoring
• Psychological assessment
Biggest myth about the counseling center?
Some people believe that in order to utilize counseling services you have to have some sort of disorder, anxiety, or be sanctioned by health service. If this were true, than 30% of your classmates wouldn’t be attending the counseling center on a regular basis. However, as a result of the 40% increase of students who have been utilizing its services, the counseling center is now encouraging more group therapy and mindfulness exercises in order to ensure that all students will receive care.
However, the Counseling Center insists that all students experiencing crises will be able to receive one-on-one counseling always, whenever necessary. So, next time you’re getting ready to unload your problems on your roommate, or even just the next person you run into, call the counseling center, or just drop by.
Phone: (207) 725-3145