Campus Life
How counselling helped me and why it can benefit everyone
by Gemma Mastroianni | March 6, 2019

It’s time.

It’s been nice to see progress in reducing the stigma of mental illness. With that being said, I still feel like there’s some work left to do in regards to speaking with a counsellor. For that reason, I want to speak up about my experience.

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I have a packed schedule. I’m a full-time student, work part-time, freelance, run my own blog, work two internships, all while being in a committed relationship and maintaining somewhat of a social life. In no way am I complaining about this, I’m so grateful for all of these opportunities. It’s amazing to be doing work that I am passionate about. None of these aspects of my life are negative by any means, all that I’m saying is that it can be a lot. I’m able to manage it as I’m someone who’s big on scheduling and proper time management, but there have been many times where I have forgotten to take care of myself as a result.

In addition to all of these priorities, I’m still human. I have feelings, and I’m still affected by events in life as any other person would be. Before I made talking to someone a priority, I would push a lot to the side. Think of it as stuffing too many articles of clothing into a drawer, and what happens eventually with that is essentially what kept happening to me.

I had to be honest with myself. Sure, perhaps if I didn’t have so much going on, I may be able to manage certain things in my life a bit better. But because I want to keep busy, it’s important that I speak to someone on a somewhat consistent basis. I’ve come to a point where I know it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I’d say it’s quite responsible of me. If I were to look at anyone else with that many priorities, it makes sense that they would talk to someone every now and again to check in. But there’s nothing wrong with talking to someone to make sure you’re on the right track.

However, if you’ve had a bad experience with counselling before and are still struggling, don’t be afraid to try it again. In all honesty, I’ve been there. It can be challenging when you don’t exactly vibe with the person you’ve just been so vulnerable and raw with, but please don’t give up. Through those bad experiences, it can make you feel like counselling just isn’t for you. I promise you that once you find the right one, it can be so beneficial to your life. Something to keep in mind is that it won’t work if you don’t want it to. If you want it to help you and you find the right person to talk to, it absolutely will help you.

You might be thinking that it’s kind of odd to just spill out your life to someone random, but try to take on a different perspective. Realize that this person isn’t going to share anything to anyone you know. They can give you an educated opinion and talk you through whatever you may be going through. Yeah, it might be a bit awkward in the beginning but you’ll push past it. Nobody even has to know that you’re doing it aside from you and the counsellor. Also, remember that this is their job! They do this all day, five days a week. They are here to listen and help, not to judge—they signed up for this!

Humber has been great to me in regards to this. I actually had to speak with three different counsellors before finding the right one. They don’t exactly prefer that you hop around, but if you explain to them that it just didn’t feel right and perhaps give some reasoning, they are more than happy to accommodate. I felt nervous to do this, but in the end, it was so worth it. Ever since I’ve felt so much more put together and confident in the actions that I’m taking. After each session, I feel like I’m growing and I can’t wait to progress even more!

After finally finding a good match, I thought to myself, couldn’t everyone truly benefit from counselling with the right person to talk to? Once this came to mind, I felt even more encouraged to make it a consistent habit. I’m proud of the fact that I’m now able to do this. There was a ton of fear involved through this process, but to finally be content is so fulfilling.

I’m not saying that everyone should do this on a consistent basis, but if you’re struggling and feel like you need just a bit of guidance, I really suggest you give it a try. Some of the best moments in life come from pushing ourselves to do things we aren’t comfortable with. Love yourself and recognize when you might need some guidance. Don’t be ashamed, every single person on this earth has their own unique struggles. Everyone has to deal with stressful situations in life, and so many people struggle with mental illness. I promise you it gets better, so long as you make an effort to do so. Sometimes it even takes imagining if it was one of your closest friends feel the way you do. Think about what you would want them to do and if they chose to talk to someone you probably wouldn’t judge them for it. Love yourself as you would love others through this process is all I’m saying.

I know everyone says it’s okay to not be okay, but I don’t entirely agree with that. Yes, it’s okay to have problems, because everyone does! With that being said, I don’t think it’s okay to not do anything about it. Recognize that maybe you’re not okay and get help.

The resources are here right on campus, and it’s time to take action. Fight those nerves and when you feel like you’re ready, please get help. Don’t wait until it gets to be too much.

Counselling appointments are booked on a same-day and on a first-come, first-served basis. To book an appointment, you may visit the Student Wellness & Accessibility Centre (North) or Student Welcome Centre (Lakeshore) in person or by telephone:

416-675-5090 (North) or 416-675-6622 ext. 3331 (Lakeshore)

Orangeville Campus Students that require counselling services, should connect with Student Wellness & Accessibility Centre (North) at 416-675-5090 to arrange for a WebEx Counselling Session.

Counselling Services are FREE to all currently enrolled students of Humber College and the University of Guelph Humber


If you are in need of more support, check out what resources can work for you.

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