Throughout this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought much change and uncertainty to everyone’s lives. With the transition toward normal levels of activity and access this summer, students will be entering a new phase of adjustment.
The Arch 2021 summer semester — an in-person, residential experience — will offer the re-clustering of the junior cohort. This is an exciting opportunity for students to reunite with one another, rebuild existing relationships, and form new ones. At the same time, this transition may be stressful for some individuals who may be coming from a place of disconnection and seclusion.
Staff from the Rensselaer Counseling Center have helped students cope with feelings of depression and anxiety throughout the pandemic by offering virtual individual and group therapy services. They will continue these services during The Arch 2021 summer semester and layer on in-person support opportunities.
“The return to in-person living and learning can bring anxiety. It will be important for students not to become overwhelmed with this transition, but rather to acknowledge and work through it,” said Kevin Readdean, associate director of the student health center. “Students may also have trouble recovering from months of disconnectedness, find it difficult to concentrate, or experience a lack of motivation or irritability. Our counseling center staff is readily available to help students with this transition.”
Virtual counseling services are available to students weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with evening hours available most nights. Students who need a private space to connect virtually with a counselor can reserve on-campus office space in the counseling center suite in Academy Hall. In addition, the popular drop-in counseling program will be re-established where counselors are in select locations across campus on set days and times for students new to counseling or for those who need to speak to a professional before their next appointment. For the upcoming summer semester, they are considering locations such as the Residential Commons, Student Union, or academic buildings. Additionally, there will be some in-person services resuming in Academy Hall, including group counseling, based on student interest.
“With any major stressor, there is always the opportunity for growth. Students have faced significant academic, emotional, and social challenges throughout the pandemic. Asking for help is a sign of strength and we will help students emerge stronger emotionally and academically, and ready to change the post-pandemic world,” said Anita Chu, director of the counseling center.
For students in need of counseling services, counseling staff will assist them with stress management, personal issues, and, ultimately, academic success. Counseling support can be accessed through a drop-in appointment, the online portal, or by calling (518) 276-6479. To learn more, visit studenthealth.rpi.edu.