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VSU students find solace at counseling center

If you find yourself becoming anxious or anxiety starts creeping into parts of your life, VSU has your back.

A racing mind, quickened heart rate, sweaty palms and feeling overwhelmed are all common signs of anxiety. According to a survey from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), there is a rise of anxious college students who are seeking services to help cope with anxiety. Dr. John Grotgen, director of the Counseling Center at VSU, declares anxiety is the second most common issue among students on campus.

College students are more prone to anxiety due to their lifestyle as reported by psychcentral.com. Big changes such as living with roommates, making new friends and exposure to a new lifestyle add stressors to college life. When students cannot cope with these struggles, it creates a perfect opportunity for anxiety to occur.

“Anxiety certainly affects academic performance,” Dr. Grotgen, said.

Anxiety even plays a role on a student’s routine.

“The mental aspects of anxiety in terms of difficulty concentrating and the mind speeding, does affect learning, “Dr. Grotgen said. “If we are anxious our mind is speeding so we are having more difficulty listening in class.”

The Counseling Center at VSU helps students deal with anxiety in many ways. The center works with students individually, provides seminars on campus and offers classes any student can attend.

Other less conventional methods offered are relaxation programs. For example, the center offers a workshop called Relaxation Simplified.

“One of the ways you go about addressing anxiety is through learning relaxation techniques,” Dr. Grotgen said.

It is likewise noted that social interaction and physical activities are factors that can help lower anxiety. Learning about anxiety triggers is ideal for coping with it.

“When you become an expert in your own anxiety then you know how to help yourself,” Dr. Grotgen, said.

According to Grotgen, although identifying anxiety is important, what is more significant is the solution.

“When looking at anxiety, there are basically three choices called fight, flight and float.”

Fight refers to the removal of sources causing ones anxiety, flight means removing oneself from the sources and float pertains to the anxieties one has in their life that they choose.

With the vast amount of options available, the Counseling Center takes advantage of every opportunity it has to reach out.

It advertises around campus by talking to parents during orientation, offering packets and brochures during programs, displaying information through its website and using social media to announce upcoming workshops.

However, the ultimate tool that works for the center is word of mouth.

VSU’s Counseling Center, on the second floor of Powell Hall East, has six professional counselors equipped to handle anxiety disorders. The center is available to students only, and all the services are free of charge. To schedule an appointment a student may call 229-333-5940 or go by the center.

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