University counseling centers on lead to bring a calmer mood around campusAn increasing number of college students are recently knocking on the doors of school counseling centers to talk and get help on hardships they are going through.
“The number of students registering for counseling at the Ewha Student Counseling Center (ESCC) is increasing year by year. While 13,000 students made use of the counseling center in 2008, more than 16,000 students visited the center in 2010,” said An Hyun-mi, one of the ESCC counselors. “The rise is believed to be due to students’ optimism that their problems can be solved, and students’ openness to seek solutions through the professionals’ guides.”
Based on official statistics provided by Sogang University and Seoul National University, approximately 20 percent of Sogang University students visit the school’s counseling center, and Seoul National University has recorded an increase in students seeking professional counseling.
The major reason that students visit counceling centers is to talk to counselors about their problems and request help. What students mostly bring to consult with counselors are : How to adapt into new situations at school and how to form new relationships.
“I’m facing many conflicts but I feel uncomfortable talking to my friends about some of them. The counseling center is helpful under these circumstances. Having a matured professional to talk to is a relief,” said a student who prefers to remain anonymous.
Some students, however, are reluctant to visit the counseling center even though they would like to do so.
“I admit I worry over security guarantees about my private matters. Also, I’m afraid other people might think of me as a weak, weird person for visiting the counseling center,” Cho Ae-ry (Economics, 3) said.
Contrary to such concerns, university counseling centers are remarkably trustworthy places in many aspects. The ESCC was selected by the National University Student Life Counseling Center Conference as one of the best student counseling centers in December 2010. Also, the Catholic University of Korea and Korea Nazarene University were selected as the best universities in specialized counseling for handicapped students. The conference particularly praised Ewha for having the greatest number of full-time counselors and high student participation.
Moreover, counseling centers readily assure students that they need not be concerned about the counseling security. Counseling procedures are regulated with utmost priority by established rules for counseling ethics and are set up to ensure complete anonymity. Nobody has access to information on students who had counseling, or who a student’s counselor is.
Appointments for campus counseling at Ewha can be made either online through the official ESCC hompage (http://home.ewha.ac.kr/~ESCC) or offline by visiting the ESCC located at room 311 in the Student Union Building.
Then students should fill out the appointment form, which allows students to choose an appropriate category of counseling. A proper counselor in the relevant field will be designated for each student.
“Students with problems should seek help from experts. There are many people who can offer assistance, so students should feel free to visit the Student Counseling Center whenever necessary,” An said.
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