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How the ONU counseling center helped me become a senior

The counseling center in Klondike's Den is home to professionals who take the time to know everyone who walks through their doors. (Photo/Sarah Mudd)

The counseling center in Klondike's Den is home to professionals who take the time to know everyone who walks through their doors. (Photo/Sarah Mudd)

My first three years on campus I hardly knew that the counseling center existed let alone where it was located on campus. Then I was suddenly faced with a tragedy that I'd never had experience with before: death. With death comes grief.

I knew I couldn't get through the upcoming year without some help. I debated not even coming back to school and giving up before my senior year. All of the professionals told me I shouldn't give up and should instead seek out the counseling center on my college campus for the upcoming year.

I was nervous to go to the counseling center at first. I'd never even thought about doing so in all of my years at Ohio Northern. I couldn't go through this year alone, though. I made an appointment and trudged myself there. I had been so pessimistic lately that I wasn't expecting much.

I knew I was in good hands as soon as I walked through the door. The secretary at the desk was polite and kind. It didn't feel like I was just sitting in a clinic waiting for my doctor. I even felt welcome and at home while sitting in the waiting room. That's when I realized I'd probably made the right choice coming here.

Rebecca Diller was my counselor. She really took the time to get to know me. Not just about what had happened to me but about all the ins and outs of my life and who I was as a person. I could tell she genuinely cared and was interested. It was such a positive experience, and the first time I'd felt genuine relief in a long while. It made me think about how sad it was that I never knew such a great resource existed.

I've continued to go weekly, and I feel like I've not only gotten emotionally helped but developed a drive to want to help others as well. While I'm still a long way from being back to normal, I know that I'm on the right track.

 Most of my peers have said that they'd never visited the counseling center. I know that it's virtually impossible to go through college without experiencing any hardships. It's not helpful to bottle these emotions up, though. I've learned that the hard way and don't want others to go through the same thing.

After feeling so accepted and welcomed I can only hope that others consider using this resource as well. It's free, readily accessible, and open through the whole school week. More importantly than that it's full of people who I know from experience care and strive to help the people on campus. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to get the courage to face my senior year.