BY CODY STEEVES
The holidays are seen as a time for relaxation, a chance to get away from school and your job and spend some quality with family. However, students don’t always see it that way.
With encroaching deadlines, exams and the possibility of not even returning home, some students dread the holidays, more so, than the rest of the year.
According to Marshall Chanda, a counsellor at Conestoga’s Counselling Services at Doon campus, the holidays mark the peak of activity. Approximately 12 per cent of the student body is expected to use the services provided by the counsellors during that period.
“Each year we see more students coming to school full-time but also trying to maintain some level of work involvement,” Chanda said.
“The challenge of that, is obviously there is a financial need on their part to do that, but it is very difficult to maintain that commitment to almost full-time work as well as being a full-time student.”
Chanda believes that this causes students a lot of stress. If you add the demands of seeing family with that, students are likely to push themselves to their limit much faster and cause themselves to fall into a depression.
“A lot of times students are coming back from holidays and getting set for mid-term exams,” Chanda said. “For some it doesn’t feel like a real nice relaxing break.”
Another problem some students have who are not local is they may not have the opportunity to return home to their families during the break. Whether due to finances or lack of time, certain students are stuck alone during this time.
So how do these students deal with these problems? Some talk to friends and some deal with it themselves. However, the most appropriate solution is for students to seek the help of counsellors at their campuses. It is a confidential, free and voluntary solution. No one will force the student to return. However, counselling is beneficial if students are becoming overwhelmed or are suffering from depression.
Studies have proven that counselling is the most effective way to relieve stress and help cure depression, compared to consulting with friends and family or dealing with the problem by yourself.
The stigma that surrounds counselling still exists. The belief is that others will look down upon individuals simply because they cannot deal with their own problems effectively. That stigma is outdated and shouldn’t affect whether a student seeks help or not.
To find out more about Counselling Services on your campus or to book an appointment, visit the respective office and speak with the secretary or visit www.conestogac.on.ca/counselling-services/.