Going to college is like being locked in a room full of mirrors. For some, it might feel like you’re really looking within yourself for the first time. It’s scary but necessary to go through this. Figuring out what makes you who you are is all a part of the big process of growing up and becoming an independent person who is ready to tackle the real world.
Instead of embracing all the changes and opportunities that college has to offer, some students who feel out of place, lonely, or homesick begin to develop some bad habits that are normalized on campus. Here are some examples of such bad habits:
- Refusing to go to Stevie for a healthy, filling meal (not because the menu is bad that day, but because you have to walk up all those stairs!) and instead, sticking to DeCafe, where pizza, cookies, and chips are always Grab-N-Go ready.
- Skipping one or more classes frequently because why not??
- Staying up until 1AM working on that history paper in Mudd the night before it’s due even though you’ve known about it since the very beginning of the semester.
- Not reaching out when you need it and instead, thinking: “everyone goes through this,” “it’s normal, I’ll be fine, I just need to have a salad,” and “other people have it worse than I do.”
Going through change is hard for everyone! Any struggle is a struggle regardless of its intensity– and it’s so worth it to voice your thoughts, emotions, and bad habits in order to reach out and get the help that you need to feel better. Taking the initiative to take better care of yourself is the first step forward. Luckily, Oberlin is full of on-campus resources available to guide you in this journey towards personal growth:
- Having trouble in your classes? If you have free time in your schedule, try visiting room 118 in Peters Hall, where the Center for Student Success and Student Academic Programs are located. Here, the staff will try to work with you to provide you with potential programs to join, services to look into, or events to attend that can benefit your academic goals.
- Dealing with miscommunication? Stressed out because of a lagging conflict in your life? Try visiting the Office of the Ombudsperson on the second floor of Lewis House at 68 S Professor St. Regardless of the problem you’re going through, this independent administrator is here to serve you as a neutral party that can, according to their web page, “present options, devise strategies, and help find solutions.”
- Feeling excluded? Dealing with discrimination or harassment? The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is here to support you. Visit them in room 204 in Carnegie Building to discuss options to further assess the issue(s).
- Need to talk to someone? Feeling under the weather? Try scheduling an appointment with the Counseling Center for some mental health support, regardless of what’s bothering you. Or schedule an appointment with Student Health for a check-up or flu shot. You can even just walk in if you’re really in a crisis (Walk-In hours for Student Health are 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2-3:45 p.m., Wednesday). Luckily, both facilities are located in the same building: Dascomb, Suite B. (Note: Even though they request it, they will see you regardless of insurance coverage).
- Feeling out of place? Try visiting the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) at 187 N Professor St (It’s a big blue house on the same block as Stevie). The MRC provides a safe place for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, first- generation college students, etc. They have cool resources such as the Unicorn Lounge, a food pantry, and free professional clothes that you can borrow for things like job interviews!
- Don’t know what’s wrong or bothering you? Just need someone, anyone, to talk to? Located in Wilder 304, the Peer Support Center (PSC) is a safe and open space for anyone to walk in and receive support. You can bring your homework, eat snacks and hang out, or talk to a trained, peer listener! There’s no pressure at the PSC.
Change is inevitable. The only way to fully embrace change is to build new things like friendships, routines, and memories. If you don’t know where to start, reaching out could be your best bet. Step one: embrace one of or all of the wonderful and helpful resources that Oberlin has to offer!