Thursday, April 24, 2014

How Does That Make You Feel?

The end of the semester is slowly creeping up on all of us. The past few weeks and the weeks to come are arguably the most stressful weeks of the semester, especially for those of us who are graduating. The stress of trying to find full-time employment and the high amount of work that needs to be completed for class is starting to take its toll.

            Luckily for MU students, when the going gets a little too tough to handle, the counseling center on campus is available for us if we need it. Jolene Meisner started as a temporary counselor at Mansfield in 2008, filling in when other employees were out on medical leave. She is now a full-time staff member who I would recommend to any student on campus.

            I personally have never utilized the counseling center, but Jolene made me feel comfortable the moment we walked into her office. We chatted first about me and what my career goals are and then we flowed into an interesting, yet brief conversation about social media and the effects it has had on society. While the banter only lasted a few minutes, I felt instantly at ease with Jolene and may have told her my deepest thoughts.

            I learned that Jolene and I shared a similar love for Mansfield which is something I’ll miss terribly in the fall.

            “The scenery is beautiful here, and for me Mansfield is close to home.” Jolene said, “I’m originally from Millerton and I did my undergrad here so it was nice to be closer to home when I took the temporary position.”

            Jolene stressed that the counseling center is an incredibly positive place despite that stigma that students may have based on the name.

            “I came to Mansfield from an in-patient facility in Elmira. While I enjoyed working there, the environment in the counseling center is incredibly positive even though some of the students we see are sometimes at their worst. What we are able to do here as counselors is to help them see their potential and blossom. It’s a challenging job but it’s very exciting for me when I get to see that happen.”

            I spent about 45 minutes with Jolene from start to finish and even though it was a short period of time, she left me feeling ready to tackle the rest of the semester and to make the best of the few weeks I have left.

            “Really take in all that college has to offer,” Jolene said as advice she offers to students, “Never again will it be so easy to socialize and to be with friends.”

From L to R: RHA Winter Formal 2010,
My friend Fenna, from the Netherlands, and me enjoying lunch in Stockholm, Sweden, 
COM Day 2013

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