Struggling seniors: do not be afraid to ask for help

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Photo Courtesy of the Illinois Counseling Center

A graphic of the Local Crisis Line with phone number attached. Counselors are available at all times if you need help.

By Meghan Lyons, Special Sections Editor

The last semester of your college experience is a special time to cherish your final moments left on campus and to spend time with those friends whom you may not see after college. When your final semester is snatched away from you, it is hard to remain positive. As a senior, you are probably questioning, “Why, why does a pandemic have to occur during the most inconvenient time?”

With a situation like this, there is no right way to react. Maybe if you did not enjoy college, having online classes might have been a pleasant surprise for you. Perhaps it is the other way around and you’re not doing too hot. If you’re struggling during these times, just remember that it is perfectly okay and that you have every reason in the world to be upset. We are all in this together; nobody is going to struggle through this pandemic alone. 

Of course, it is inevitable that a lot of us are going to feel down while we spend the next few weeks indoors. However, if the blues seem to constantly weigh you down, you might be experiencing something entirely different. 

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are on the rise. For a lot of people, this may be their first time ever experiencing issues with their mental health. As I mentioned previously, there is no right way to react to the current situation.  Humanity has never experienced an event where we are all required to live a life free of societal interaction. If you think you might be experiencing depression or anxiety, do not fret. 

Take advantage of the counseling center

One common misconception circulating around campus is that it is difficult to get help from the counseling center. Little do people recognize that the counseling center is offering counseling sessions over Zoom. They have been very flexible in assisting the needs of students in these difficult times. Even better, these appointments are included in your tuition, so they are free! 

Students can schedule appointments by calling the following number: (217) 333-3704.

Stay in contact with friends

You may feel like you are all alone in the world, but there are people who care. Stay in touch with your friends by calling them up to talk. If you truly do not have any friends, reach out to your family. If you don’t feel comfortable revealing your struggles to your family, that is understandable. Reach out to a professor you are close with—I am positive they will listen.

Call the Suicide Hotline

If all else fails and you find yourself in a situation where your life is in jeopardy, call the Suicide Hotline number: (800) 273-8255.

Nobody deserves to suffer alone during these times. When the going gets tough, remember that everyone else is coping with the pandemic too. The tunnel may be dark right now, but the light must come eventually.

Until then, stay strong. We are the Fighting Illini … and we’ve got this. 

Meghan is a sophomore in LAS.

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