Students struggling with adapting to university life in a strange city now have a new support group thanks in part to an initiative being launched later this month by Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Counselling Centre.
For the first time, the centre has formed an organization geared towards helping those experiencing changes in their life just in time for the start of the winter semester.
Culture Shock! targets new students who’ve come to Memorial’s St. John’s campus from other countries, provinces or other areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. Adjusting to a new study routine all the while taking classes, squeezing in social time and working can be a bit overwhelming – especially for those who don’t call St. John’s home. That’s where the Culture Shock! group comes in.
Students struggling with adjusting to university life are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting slated for later this month, said Dr. Lynda Younghusband, an assistant professor in the Counselling Centre at Memorial and a co-leader of the new group.
“It is an opportunity to meet others who are experiencing difficulty getting used to classes, being away from home, missing friends and struggling with finances,” she explained. “It is [also] an opportunity to learn more about Memorial, social activities, academic assistance and what St. John’s has to offer.”
Culture Shock! isn’t the only new program the centre is rolling out this year. Students looking to kick the smoking habit also have a support group to turn to for help. Let’s Stop Smoking will meet for the first time later this month, as well.
“It came about as a request from some students who wanted to stop smoking but were having little success,” said Dr. Younghusband. “It will be led by Denise Berniere who successfully gave up a three pack-a-day habit a few years ago as well as myself.”
The timing of that new group is appropriate. National Non-Smoking Week runs from Jan. 21-27, while Weedless Wednesday is set for Jan. 24 of this year.
Students interested in signing up for Culture Shock! can sign up for the group by calling Dr. Younghusband directly at 737-3501 or the centre’s front desk at 737-8874. The group will begin meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 12 p.m. for one hour a week.
Meanwhile, those interested in the Let’s Stop Smoking program can sign up by calling the Counselling Centre at 737-8874. That group will be offered on Fridays from 12-1:15 p.m. starting on Jan. 19.