Talking it out

Help At Hand


Help At Hand: Peer pressure is one of the problems for which students seek counselling.

Life in college is usually a period of considerable change and development – personal as well as academic. “While these challenges can be exciting, from time to time, young adults can run into difficulty which overloads their emotional and physical resources leaving them feeling drained, confused, anxious or depressed,” say student counsellors in the city colleges.

Brother Mani, a counsellor in St Joseph’s College of Commerce, who deals with students mainly at the post graduate level says, “Students seek counselling help for a variety of problems. Some have academically related anxiety or stress, sleep and concentration difficulties or fear of speaking up in a group. Some concern problematic reactions to particular events like bereavement, separation or home sickness.”

“Often students, who stay in paying guest accommodation, find it difficult to cope without the structure and support provided by a family unit. They tend to lose a sense of proportion when it comes to surfing the net all night or partying excessively with friends till the wee hours of the morning. This drastically affects their academic performance leading in turn to a whole host of other problems. Some parents in the City hesitate to impose discipline and boundaries on kids which is a big mistake as young people need boundaries and parenting more than they need total freedom to do as they please,” he adds.

Mitali Tandon from Mallya Aditi says, “Peer pressure is one thing that all teens have in common. You can't escape it as it is simply everywhere. No matter how popular you are, how well liked you may be or how together you feel, sooner or later you will have to face peer pressure. Keeping up with the latest fashions, pressure to look your best always and the need to appear 'cool' at all times definitely affects a lot of teens these days,” she says.

Prerana Sitaraman from Mount Carmel has a set of problems that are quite different and inextricably linked to the City’s infrastructure.

“Connectivity in the City is so bad that it affects a lot of students academically, strange as it may sound. This is because those who need to travel long distances find it very difficult to get to class on time thereby affecting their attendance requirements and their academics considerably. It is a major problem that is not taken seriously enough and it certainly affects a large number of students. We need better connectivity in the City,” she says.

Kushali from Mount Carmel says that dealing with peer pressure and other teen issues are not as difficult as keeping up with attendance requirements in colleges which lead to a lot of stress especially just before the exams. Many students find themselves running around for paperwork for a small shortage of attendance in order to get a hall ticket which is especially stressful as it very often happens just before the exams,” she opines.

Ashwin Haridas from St Joseph’s says, “Academic pressures are way too much and fear of failure often hampers one’s academic performance. Students often get confused while choosing the right stream of academics suited to their intellectual capabilities. We are sometimes unable to judge our own limitations and are easily influenced by peers.”

“When ugly situations arise and peer pressure kicks in to high gear, it is very easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that you will have to live with the choices you make. If you give in and do something that is contrary to your character or core value system, it will cause distress later. Healthy interaction between sexes in a college environment is very constructive for all-round development of young adults, but like all liberties, it must be handled with a good dose of maturity and circumspection,” adds Brother Mani.

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