Mar 112004
Authors: Lindsay Robinson

When Tara Nelson started college, her mother had a hard time

letting go.

Nelson said she felt like her mom was still trying to control

her life, even though she was hundreds of miles away, and the two

were constantly fighting on the phone.

Then last year, Nelson, a sophomore business management and

accounting major, sought help from the University Counseling


“It’s somebody to talk to about it,” Nelson said of her

counselor. “She gave me really good advice on how to talk to my mom

because it’s hard to talk to someone older than you, like your


Nelson’s relationship with her mom is still improving, but she

said it is much easier to talk to her now.

Students are allotted five free individual sessions per semester

at the counseling center, which offers a variety of confidential

programs for issues including depression, relationship trouble and

family problems.

“I love the fact that it’s free,” Nelson said. “It’s so

expensive outside.”

Danielle Oakley, a licensed psychologist at the counseling

center, said students who are feeling isolated or alone should

attend a free group program offered at the center.

“There are so many students on campus who come in here because

they’re lonely and it’s a way for students to build social support

in a safe environment,” Oakley said.

For students who do not feel comfortable going to the counseling

center, Larimer Mental Health Connections offers many similar

programs that do not require insurance.

Services are also available for students who have other personal

problems, from drug and alcohol to sexual health to legal


For those coping with substance abuse, Hartshorn Health Service

has the Center for Drug and Alcohol Education.

Pam McCracken, director of the Center Drug and Alcohol

Education, said it is important for students to get help with such

issues because the problem will only continue to grow if left

alone. She encourages students to take advantage of the center.

“We’re right here, a hop, skip and a jump from where most people

live or walk on campus. We have a lot of services that are free or

at a substantially reduced cost,” she said. “Most services are

extremely confidential. It lends a sort of, ‘If I get help while

I’m a student, what happens here stays here.'”

Students can also take part in the Al-Anon program, which meets

Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. in the basement of the United Campus

Ministry, 629 S. Howes St.

For those dealing with sexual issues, the health center offers

sexually transmitted disease testing at a reduced price. Planned

Parenthood also provides STD testing, in addition to services for

unplanned pregnancies and family planning. The Alpha Center for

Women helps women explore alternatives to abortion.

Students can obtain free legal advice from Student Legal

Services, which deals with issues like criminal, traffic, housing,

consumer, family, employment and real estate.

There are also many resources on campus to help students with

their academic and career needs.

The Center for Advising and Student Achievement works with

open-option students and those who would like to change majors.

“If we had a student in, let’s say, sociology, and they know

they don’t want to be in sociology, we can be a good adviser for

them because we know a little about all the majors on campus and we

can talk to them about other areas they might like to major in,”

said Gaye DiGregorio, interim associate director of CASA.

For students who are struggling with academics, tutors are

available in many departments. Free math and science tutoring can

be found in Ingersoll Hall, and the Writing Center offers

essay-writing assistance.

The Writing Center can help with every step of the writing

process, from coming up with the initial idea of what to write to

helping students edit their papers and refine organization and

grammar, said Wendy Gough, a tutor at the Writing Center.

Gough said she thinks it is important for students who have

trouble with their writing to seek help and improve.

“Depending on your major and your expectations from your

professor, you may really need to get your writing honed. It’s

important for anybody who wants to become a better writer and needs

a little help with that,” said Gough, a first-year graduate student

in English.

For advice on test-taking skills, time management and studying,

students can visit the Learning Assistance Center, which is

sponsored by the counseling center.

DiGregorio said more students should take advantage of the

variety of services the university offers.

“I think that CSU has all of the resources; it’s just getting

students to utilize the resources and ask questions and sometimes

students are hesitant to do that,” she said. “I think it’s really

important they know that part of being a good consumer of their

education is to utilize those services that are available to


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