Dealing with harsh reality

After the events that took place at Virginia Tech earlier this week, the continual coverage of the events on the news stations, and the realization of just how close to home these events hit, it’s not hard to imagine a sense of combined fear, shock and depression coming over the entire nation.

If you find yourself worried about a similar situation happening again, hesitant to even attend classes, or just somewhat edgy, consider these words of advice from Bernice Strauss, Director of Academic Support Programs at the Student Advising and Mentoring center.

What advice would you give students about how to deal with this tragedy?

“I really encourage them to talk to friends, faculty and resources on campus. The Counseling Center has well-trained, highly qualified people who are more than willing to provide them with counseling, support, advice and any information that would be appropriate to what they’re looking for. Students pay for that when they register, so there’s no additional charge. They’re also 100 percent confidential.”

What would you say to anyone who is having problems dealing with or continuing their daily lives normally after the incident?

“I would encourage them to visit with someone who had the training and background to help them figure out what’s going on and what steps they should take to get back on track.”

Do you think it’s normal to feel a sense of loss for the students that lost their lives even without knowing them personally and why?

“Yes, I think it’s normal to feel a sense of loss. I think everyone is saddened and concerned with what happened. The extent to which that sense of loss interferes with the things we need to do is where it becomes a concern. But I would hope that we could all identify with the difficulties people are experiencing anywhere, not just on college campuses.

I encourage anyone to take their feelings to the counseling center so that someone who has professional training can help them figure out how to cope with what they’re experiencing and help them assess whether it is appropriate or inappropriate. Each situation is different, so I think anyone that is concerned should go to the counseling center.

Mrs. Strauss can be reached at (936) 294-4455, and any of the counselors at the Counseling Center can be reached through the main line, (936) 294-1720.

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