HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - It’s been six weeks since Alabama A&M students arrived on “The Hill." But of course, with COVID-19, there have been lots of changes this year and students are certainly feeling the emotional toll of that.
Carlquista Slay, the interim Director at the Health & Counseling Center, says there has been an increase in on-demand services.
“Overall, we have seen an increase in demand for services but not the traditional routine services,” Slay says. “We have more requests for on-demand services where somebody may just be having a hard day and they need somebody to talk to at that moment.”
Slay says students want to socialize, make new friends and have new experiences but that’s just not always possible on campus right now.
“What we have encountered this year with COVID-19 is that there aren’t as many things for students to participate in,” Slay says. “So they are a little stressed and experiencing some depression and anxiety.”
Slay adds that students aren’t too concerned about the virus itself. Instead, they fear the uncertainty of the future, and what kind of job market they’ll be walking into after graduation.
Many are worried that internships won’t be available either.
Slay says freshman students in particular face additional challenges.
“I think it may be a little more difficult for our freshman students because the idea of what college would be like when they envisioned coming to college is not what it is now in the age of COVID,” Slay says. “So I think they are having a little bit more difficulties in addition to the adjustment of being away from home. But again, they are doing a really good job of managing their emotions and we have support systems in place for those that are having a hard time.”
Slay says faculty and staff members are experiencing some of the same stress.
She encourages everyone to take care of themselves and seek guidance when needed.
“Everyone is going through a tough time and the one thing that I will say is take care of yourself...a lot of our sleep patterns are off, our eating habits are off. Each day has its own set of problems but right now self-care needs to be the focus for everyone in the age of COVID.”