Counseling Centers At Colleges

Are College Counseling Centers Really Supportive?

They say they can help students who are struggling mentally in school, but are they really as helpful as they say they are?

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I am a mental health advocate, and I personally feel that Counseling Centers on any college campus are attempting to improve the mental health of college students on college campuses, but are not succeeding. Why do I say that? Well, here are some examples that I have noticed.

For one, a lot of schools over-hype their ability to help all students. There are students from all different background that are dealing with their mental illness differently and have been dealing with it for different periods of time. The answer is simply, the counseling center is not always prepared for students with different issues. The biggest thing is that counseling centers are not equipped for students that have been dealing with mental illness long term.

Counseling centers offer help for a lot of incoming students who are feeling overwhelmed in class or feel that they do not fit in, or have suddenly realized that they may be having a problem with their mental health. They don't offer help to students who are leaving their 5 year long therapists, leaving the comfort of their own home, and experiencing different events that they may have avoided in high school due to different trauma or experiences. They don't offer full-time help for people with long-term issues.

And what's sad is that those are people who need the most help.

I've witnessed on countless occasions of people saying they cannot return to the Counseling Center because they cannot help the mental illness that they've had since freshman year of high school. This is often people who are seeking help, possibly for the first, or maybe the second time. They may not know how to go about taking control of their mental illness because they either had a parent do it for them or never have done it before. And does the Counseling Center point them in the direction? Often times, no. Or at least, not fully to the level that a person needs.

A college student may have to take it into their own hands to find a therapist, or a psychologist, or any form of inpatient or outpatient care all by themselves. But why can't the Counseling Center help them? What do they have better to do than help?

Oh yes, only help the students who have suddenly felt the feelings these students have been feeling for years.

Now, help students who have suddenly developed some sort of mental illness due to college is crucial, but ignoring the people who need long term help is important. They are still people who have the same risks as those who have recently developed a mental disability. I'm going to take a darker turn and bluntly say that a person who has had mental health issues for years is just as likely to commit suicide as students who have developed symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. They're just as likely to shut people out. They're just as likely to self-harm. They're just as likely to do anything that can cause harm to themselves or others.

So what are Counseling Centers thinking?

I personally feel, that they are not doing enough, and as a college student who knows college is difficult, it's difficult for those struggling both recently and long-term.

Help both. It's as simple as that.

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My Freckles Are Not A Beauty Trend For You To Appropriate And Immitate

Those with faces full of freckles can't wipe them off like you can after a photo shoot.

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While it is fun to use makeup to express yourself, one can argue unless you are in costume, it should be used to enhance your features, not create new ones. The trend of artificial freckles puts a nasty taste in my mouth reminiscent to the feeling I get when I see a Caucasian woman apply such dark foundation to her face that she appears to be donning blackface.

To someone who has a face full of freckles, it is offensive to see you paint on freckles as if they were not permanent features of other people's skin that they cannot remove with a makeup wipe. I remember asking my cousin at 5 years old if I could surgically remove my freckles and crying when she broke to me that I'd be stuck with what she called giraffe spots my whole life.

I'm not alone in feeling self-conscious about my freckles. The face is the fulcrum of the identity, and it can feel like my facial identity is like a haphazard splash of orange/brown debris. Another against the fake freckles movement retorts: "you'll soon regret them when people begin to describe you as a polka-dot-skinned troll or a cinnamon-toast-faced goblin. Also, when your eyebags start to sag in middle-age, that 'cute' skin art will probably deteriorate into something more closely resembling oblong blackheads. Sincerely, A Freckled Person"

One woman recalls her struggle with accepting the patterns of her skin from a very young age:

“When I was a young girl, I remember staring at myself in my bathroom mirror and imagining my face without the scattered brown dots that littered my face and body. I dreamed of having the small imperfections removed from my face and obtaining the smooth porcelain skin that I envied. I looked at my bare-faced friends in awe because they had what I wanted and would never know. For some odd reason, I had made myself believe that my freckles made me ugly."

I've come to appreciate the beauty of these sun kisses, and many nowadays have too. However, freckles haven't always been considered cute. There is a history of contempt toward red reader freckled people, just ask Anne Shirley! The dramatic young heroine laments: "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy. Nobody could who had red hair. I don't mind the other things so much — the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness. I can imagine them away. I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot imagine that red hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, "Now my hair is a glorious black, black as the raven's wing." But all the time I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong sorrow." (Montgomery).

Historically, freckles on ones face have been seen as dirty or imperfect. It's easy to forget that Irish features such as red hair and freckles have been subject to hateful discrimination for centuries. In some places, the word ginger is even used as a slur.

I am not a red-headed stepchild for you to beat — or for you to appropriate.

My facial texture is not a toy for you to play with.

It is rude and inconsiderate to pock your face for a selfie while those with randomly splashed spots get someone once a week trying to rub off the "dirt speck" on their face.

Greg Stevens has a theory to why there is anti-red prejudice

“Skin tone is another one of those well-studied features that has been shown to consistently have an impact on people's assessment of physical beauty: Those with clear, evenly-colored skin are widely regarded as being more attractive than people with patchy, blotchy, or freckled skin.
Nowhere is this more obvious than when looking at professional photos of redheaded models and celebrities. Even those "hot redheads" that flaunt the redness of their hair usually are made-up on magazine covers to have almost unnaturally even skin tones. Moreover, there is a reasonable theory to explain why the bias against freckles might be more than just a cultural prejudice. Not to be too blunt about it, but freckles are cancer factories."

By that, the author means freckles can be early indicators of sun damage or skin cancer. This illusion that freckles indicate deficiency may also play in negative connotations toward a person with freckles

While I acknowledge the intention of people with clear skin who paint freckles on their face isn't to offend — rather it is to appreciate freckles as a beauty statement — the effect is still offensive. If you are thinking about trying this freckle fad, you should put down your fine tipped brush and consider what it would be like if you couldn't wipe away the spots.

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Reflections On My Freshman Year Of College

The memories that will last forever.

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As I write this, I'm now back home for the summer. As I unpack my clothes, my postcards, and my photos from my dorm, I can't help but reflect on my first year of college.

Going into school, I had the added stress of completely moving out of my hometown in New Jersey with only two weeks to turn around and then move out to Boston. Additionally, I was the only person in my high school graduating class to choose Emerson, so I went in completely alone. Thankfully, things turned out okay, and I quickly started to feel at home.

I have loved meeting so many people with different perspectives, who came to Boston from all over the country. I have friends on the East and West Coasts, and what feels like everywhere in between. My favorite thing about college is that my career path involves so much storytelling, and the city around me is constantly radiating new and interesting stories.

I've met musicians, artists, and filmmakers who each have a unique passion for their respective crafts. It's been an honor to tell their stories through my own work, and to learn more about the intricate details that go into music producing and filmmaking.

Victory parades, protests, and marches have all made their way down my street at one point or another. I've captured confetti and smiles and picket signs and screams through my camera lens, in the thick of it in my corner of the city.

My new Boston neighborhood set the scene for so many memories and valuable experiences. Only my second week into school, I auditioned for a role as an on-air broadcast correspondent on a campus news show, and was lucky enough to get the position, becoming the only freshman on the cast during my first semester.

This was easily one of my most impactful experiences of my first year. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with such a talented and respectful cast and crew, who taught me so much about broadcast journalism in a single year. Never have I ever envisioned myself on screen, so this was a truly pleasant surprise.

I worked as a behind-the-scenes photographer on a film set. I joined a sorority. All of these things are things that were completely unexpected. College has pushed me from my comfort zone in the best way possible, and led me to so many new, positive people and opportunities. I look forward to more adventures in my new city, and to more continuous inspiration and challenges.

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