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Get support when you need it

Two students tell Gauri Kohli how counselling helped them develop resources and skills to cope with problems.

education Updated: Mar 14, 2012 14:51 IST
Gauri Kohli

The last decade has been tough for 20-year-old Mudra Sharma, who has been shifting cities, adjusting to new peer groups and coping with studies. It all started at the age of 10 when Sharma experienced a culture shock of sorts after moving to Bangalore from Delhi and found herself feeling alienated. “I had difficulty expressing my discomforts and anxiety to my parents. I approached a counsellor who could listen to me impartially. At first, I was quite unconvinced and apprehensive at the thought of going to a counsellor but after attending the first few sessions, I felt better,” says Sharma who took therapy sessions for eight months.

As she entered her teens, Sharma had other worries. “In Class 7, I developed a severe mental block against maths. I approached a counsellor who used psychological techniques and other aids to help me,” she says. When she moved back to Delhi in 2008 at the age of 17, she had developed anger, impatience and irritability. This time she sought help from the Delhi Psychiatry Centre.

“I am not ashamed of the fact that I have had to visit a counsellor several times,” says the second-year student of BA (majors) in social sciences and humanities at Ambedkar University, Delhi.

Another student, Simran Ahluwalia (name changed on request), who recently finished her studies from IIT Delhi, had problems adjusting in the sprawling metro. The girl from Kota in Rajasthan was suddenly on her own, finding it hard to meet the demands of a competitive academic schedule and a “drastically changed social life.” She approached a counsellor at IIT Delhi who helped her maintain a work-life balance and build decision-making ability. “I allowed myself to get pressurised by situations and life became very difficult, until I was counselled. I’m more confident now,” says Ahluwalia.

Go, sort out the problem
* Give yourself the benefit of doubt in a crisis
* Go back to the root of the problem and try solving it on your own
* Take a crisis as a phase and capture the learnings from it
* Try to change your perspective in a difficult situation
* Experienced culture shock? Make an attempt to be friends with people in your new city/country
* Try to study in groups, if studies are difficult ask your teacher/professor for help
* Reward or motivate yourself in case of low self-esteem