TOPICS: SOS for counsellors

After more than a decade of being in a place where discipline, rules and daily routines reign supreme, graduation from high school marks the beginning of a new era.

The teenage students can face challenges in college life. They have difficulties with studies, coping with new friends; some grow up thinking feeling inferior, dumb or emotional weakness, while some end up in the superiority garb and act accordingly. This belief, by the student, will stay with them all their life and will prevent them from discovering their true talent.

The reasons are obvious. When a student struggles in a new environment; the results are diminished self-esteem and lower confidence because of changes in the education syllabi, with intellectual development increasingly taking precedence over social or vocational development, conflicts between ‘socialization’ and ‘individualization’ and the challenge of learning to live with people of different families and places, multiple changes in academic procedures, and increasing complexity of the transition of students, the shift from rural to urban, high school to a bewildering variety of 10+2 colleges and other institutions. Thus, it’s a life of challenge and stress everyday. The constant threats of unemployment, politicization in educational institutes, and rampant violence everywhere add to the complexity of career planning, but also make the young students bewildered about the difficult choices to be made among the conflicting values.

Conflicts between the attitudes and standards of one’s home and society, and those he/she encounters in classmates from very different types of families, political chaos, competitiveness, bullying, social exclusion, racism, family cries, sibling rivalry, scholastic underachievement, abuse, homophobia, peer pressure, substance misuse, all these make it hard for him to decide where he/she stands.

The presence of so many young people from such diverse backgrounds in school or college, combined with the complex and rapidly changing society just underlines the importance of counseling. Trained and experienced counselors can help the confused lot of students in getting into the right frame of mind to pursue studies and cope up to adjust with the array of different possibilities to make his/her own mark.