A friend of mine messaged me an article entitled Take a number: Florida college campuses swamped by students who need counseling. (Via The Ledger). It was talking about the lack of and need for more counseling services for Florida college students.
After he shared this with me, I felt a strange feeling, a desire or compulsion to share not only my appreciation for and agreement with the article but also my personal story. I can personally attest to how counseling services can help college students, how campus services tend to be limited, and the impact I believe not having adequate services can have on those that need them.
Here’s my story:
I remember initially going through the campus counseling center, seeing a bachelor’s level therapist working on her master’s, being told that my difficulty focusing and managing time and stress could be related to ADHD. She suggested I get tested for ADHD. I had to wait 2 months to see someone outside of the school to receive this testing.
Meantime, a friend decides to have another friend as a roommate. Due to my insecurities from not fitting in during my high school years being in the back of my mind, I was jealous and decided to have another friend as a roomate in spite of knowing she was super depressed which isn’t good since I had a history of anxiety.
By the time I had my appointment 2 months later, I was so anxious about my roommate decision and the anxiety of wondering if I had ADHD or not that when I had the appointment the doctor couldn’t tell for certain if I had ADHD due to my anxiety!
Then, for the first time, the doctor wanted to put me on medications for anxiety and the ADHD that we did not even know if I had or not!
After that, I tried a therapist off campus to help with whatever my condition was. I started doing worse between the roommate situation, other stressors, challenging courses,being on possibly the wrong medicine, etc.
Then, that summer, clinical depression hit. It took months of off campus counseling and a different doctor prescribing along with tons of other resources to get me through my first Major Depressive Episode.
For me personally, counseling was such a necessary service and I was blessed that insurance payed half the fee and my family was able to pay the rest.
The reason I did not go to the campus center was that not only was it summer when I started counseling but I do not think they would have been equipped for the amount of sessions I needed.The college I went to provided free sessions but typically limited the number provided. Also, at that time, multiple of the counselor’s did not even have there master’s degree let alone a license.
My experiences have made me realize so many people are in a situation due to lack of transportation and lack of financial support that they cannot do what I did. And this means many students are unable to receive the type and amount of services that they desperately need.
Link for article: