Counseling in Colleges and Universities

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  • 0:02 College and Counseling
  • 0:56 Common Issues
  • 4:40 College Counseling Services
  • 6:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jade Mazarin

Jade is a board certified Christian counselor with an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a certification in Natural Health. She is also a freelance writer on emotional health and spirituality.

College can be an exciting time of life. But for many students, it can also bring about common emotional challenges, like depression, anxiety, addiction, ADHD, and eating disorders.

College and Counseling

Like many high school graduates who head off to college, I remember being very nervous about handling the next four years in a new place away from home. Would I make friends easily? Would my classes be too hard? How would it be without my parents around?

While I had some stressful moments, fortunately for me, I had an overall wonderful experience at college. There are many college students, however, who do not have such a peaceful and happy four years. Instead, they may be facing various emotional hardship that needs to be addressed. In fact, nearly every college has one or more counselors working there daily, meeting with individual students and possibly group sessions, with anyone who requests help.

We are about to look into the most common reasons college students seek counseling, and we will meet a group of five college students who are each going through one of these struggles.

Common Issues During College


Many college students are feeling so emotionally low, they find it difficult to go to class, do their homework, or even hang out with their friends. This level of severe sadness or loss of interest that impacts daily life is known as depression. Individuals have different reasons for being depressed, as well as different levels of depression. Debbie is a freshman who is depressed because she misses her family and is not connecting with her roommate. She can't imagine feeling better, and she is considering transferring to a school closer to home. Many college students, especially freshman, go through this same experience.


College is often seen as a time to prepare for the rest of the future. Many students enter freshman year with the plan to major in a certain field that will likely lead them into the career they envisioned for themselves. Sophomore Andy, however, has no idea what he wants to major in. His parents are pressuring him to go pre-med, which he knows he doesn't want to do, but he is at a loss for what he wants to do with his future. He is constantly nervous, burdened by thoughts that he won't choose the right major, and his future will suffer because of it.

Andy is experiencing anxiety, or frequent worrying and fears of the future that affect one's well being. Like Andy, students often feel pressured to make perfect decisions about their future. They also may feel overwhelmed with social or romantic situations they face.


Without parental monitoring, it is easy for college students to overuse substances. Some of them will get caught up in addiction, or a compulsive dependence on a substance that affects one's quality of life. David, for example, drank from time to time in high school, but increased his drinking dramatically when he joined a fraternity his freshman year. He recently went through a break up, and has begun drinking first thing in the morning every day for the past few months, causing him to skip classes. Despite his family's concern, he does not feel able to quit.


Concentration may be difficult for certain college students. While it is normal for young adults to get distracted in class, some of them are especially distracted, finding it hard to focus on any one point for too long. Amanda has always had ADHD, or attention deficit disorder, which hinders focused attention on a task, whether that means in class or on homework. She went to counseling on and off in high school and is wondering if she needs to start it up again with her more challenging classes and coursework.

Eating Disorders

Many teens and young adults experience a low opinion of the way they look, as well as the desire to take control of it. This tendency, often combined with outside life stressors, can lead to an eating disorder, or an obsessive need to manage what or how one eats. Emily is a junior who has had low self-esteem for most of her adolescence. She is now facing one of her most stressful times during college, as she is taking a statistics class that is required for her major and is almost failing. Suddenly, she finds herself constantly controlling how much she eats, in an effort to focus her thoughts away from school and find comfort in losing weight.

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