When Tara Nelson started college, her mother had a hard time
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
“I love the fact that it’s free,” Nelson said. “It’s so
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
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
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