Counselors provide refuge for struggling students

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It’s one thing after another: a text message that causes a flood of emotions, a piece of you that feels like you just broke into a million pieces, a tear that turns into a full-on crying. 

Ms. Megan Fizer, the junior guidance counselor, works at her desk. Mrs. Fizer covers junior students A-K. Photo by Emily Linder

We’ve all been there and we’ve all had those days. Those days when it feels like the whole world is against you. Those days when it feels like you don’t have anyone to talk to. Those days when you feel like you aren’t doing anything right.

One thing happens and another thing follows it. The pressure pushed upon your shoulders continues to get heavier and the problems seem as if they are ten thousand times bigger.

We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses but we must remember that in the midst of our struggling we are never alone. Yes, there will be rough days but there will also be people to hold your hand through the storm. 

From guidance counselors to teachers, our school has no shortage of trusted adults that can be that hand to guide you. 

“My goal, working in a school, is that I would hope that every student would have one adult, here at school, who can be their go to person who they can talk to. If you feel like you have a teacher that you’ve had, even if it’s in that past and not a current teacher, you can always go talk to them. We as adults love that,” said junior guidance counselor Ms. Megan Fizer. 

While talking about one’s personal situation to an adult may feel awkward or uncomfortable, it’s important to know that everyone has something they are going through. Not everyone’s situations are going to be the same, but everyone faces the highs and lows of life, building their character and making them stronger. 

“If kids don’t ask and reach out, then we can’t help them. I just hope that I, and I know the other counselors do, hope that we are as approachable as possible so that kids feel like they can come talk to us,” said sophomore guidance counselor Mrs. Kristin Bowland. 

Sometimes, it is easier to talk to an outside source, like a teacher or adult, rather than a friend or parent, but every situation is different. 

“I think sometimes at the teenager age that it can feel weird or awkward to try to talk to your friends about it because you don’t want to feel like a burden or feel negative like you’re always complaining. A lot of times kids will tell me they feel like other people will just blow them off,” said Ms. Fizer.  

Everyone faces stress differently. Some people may have no stress while others have tons. It is in times of struggle that some students will begin to overthink their surroundings and not be able to focus truly on the present. 

“I have a strategy, especially if students are feeling overwhelmed about school things, I tell them to close their eyes and visualize a whiteboard and write down everything in your head that’s stressing you out, calming your anxiety,” said Mrs. Bowland. “Then, just picture a big eraser and just wipe it all away.” 

Sometimes too, you may just need to take a moment and relax; to take your mind off whatever is keeping you up at night. 

“I like to tell kids if you need a moment, don’t be afraid to ask to just come down here and take five minutes to just regroup and then head back to class. I’d rather you do that then sit in class, not getting anything out of it and feeling anxious or overwhelmed,” said Bowland. 

The thought of knowing that a teacher, adult, or even a friend cares about you or the thought of knowing there are people around you you can trust is extremely powerful. It’s the little things that matter most and create a sense of comfort and hope during the struggle. 

Because hope is not hiding from us; it’s surrounding us.

In the midst of stress, it can feel like everything is falling apart or that we aren’t our true selves, but it is good to know that this is a normal part of finding yourself.  

“I think it’s important that students know that it is okay to not feel okay,” said Ms. Fizer. 

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