Dear Counseling

Students and staff have the opportunity to email the counseling office directly. Counseling staff will reply to individual emails within 24-hours and offer advice on a variety of topics ranging from mental health, academics, to resources and supports on campus. 

  • How should I refer a student to counseling?

    Dear Counseling, I’m a faculty member at the college. How do I best refer a student to counseling?

    Dear Faculty,
    Thank you for your email. There are several ways to best refer a student to counseling services here on campus.

    #1: Tell the student you are concerned for his/her welfare or safety. Discuss specific, observable behaviors that have made you concerned (missed classes, grades dropping). You want to avoid diagnosing or blaming.

    #2: Anticipate reluctance and be positive about getting help. The Counseling Center is free and confidential. There is no shame in asking for help. Getting help means you are taking responsibility and know what you need. Students mistakenly believe their problems “aren’t as bad as everyone else’s problems.” Students at Maria College utilize the counseling services for a variety of different challenges.

    #3: Leave the option open, even if the student won’t commit to counseling. Let students know they can contact the center via email ( at any time.

    #4: Follow up with the student on how they are doing at a later date.

  • A Recent Break-up
    Dear Counseling,
    I’ve recently broken up with my boyfriend and can’t seem to move on. I feel a deep pain inside my chest, can’t sleep, and can’t eat. What should I do?
    Dear Student,
    I’m sorry to hear about your recent break up. I couldn’t imagine how hard this must be for you. Relationships are never easy to understand especially when they end in heart ache. What is important for you currently is to remain empowered. Spend time alone and grow as an individual. Take time to identify your values, wants, and needs so your next relationship can be as strong as you want it to be. People chose to leave relationships for a variety of reasons; however, it’s important you don’t dwell on what you did or didn’t do. This can only make it worse. Your ex-boyfriend made a choice that was based upon their own values, wants, and needs. We must concentrate on what is in front of us and what we have control of too best overcome this moment. I know you’ll overcome this as with anything negative within your life when you put your mind, body, and soul into it. Best wishes.
  • Finals Around the Corner
    Dear Counseling,
    Do you have any test taking advice given finals is right around the corner?
    Dear Student,
    Thank you for your email. There are a few text taking strategies that I would suggest to best help your situation.
    #1: Expect some anxiety the day of the exam. Remember that anxiety is normal and can be used to your advantage. Give yourself a pep-talk and remain positive.
    #2: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. Space out your studies and avoid cramming. Practice guided visualizations to imagine sucess, promote confidence, and calm your nervous leading up to the exam.
    #3: Relax and Breathe. Don’t focus on other students taking the exam. If you feel your anxiety start to get the best of you, take a moment to yourself to relax.
    #4: Avoid anxious classmates before an exam. They can often feed into your anxiety and make things worse.