Greetings from the Student Counseling Center. You may have seen us over on the corner of the Forest Grove campus, tucked away in the building we share with the Student Health Center. Some of you come see us on a regular basis. Others have seen us in the past as they’ve negotiated their way through the twists and turns of college life. Still, others of you will come see us at some point this year or in the future.

You are always welcome to come see us, but sometimes we feel like reaching out a little. So many things about college life are related to what we do here at the counseling center. The details of day-to-day living are full of the things that make psychology so interesting to us—emotions, moods, stress, joy, relationships, decision-making, relaxation, meditation, choices. You get the idea.

So how do we reach out? This year, we’ve been invited to write a column for the Index, and we’re thrilled about that. As we sat down to brainstorm ideas for what that column would look like, we came up with all kinds of questions. Should we make this an advice column? Should we talk about relationships? Family issues? Substance abuse problems? Sex? Study habits? Should we write essays that eventually tie in to psychological concepts? Would it be okay to respond to questions from our readers?

The answer to all of the above, it turns out, is a resounding yes. We’d like to do all of that and more. We’d like to draw on what we have learned about college life, what we’ve learned in our lives, and what we know about psychology to put together a column that you can use as a resource. With any luck you’ll get a few ideas about how to make this whole student thing a little easier.

Like any new endeavor, this column will evolve as the year progresses. For now, though, here’s the plan. There are five psychologists in the counseling center and we’ll probably take turns writing this column. We’ll cover all the things we can think of that impact you and your life here at Pacific and beyond. And we’d love to hear from you if you’ve got something you’ve been wondering about. Every once in a while, we’ll take your questions and turn them into a column of their own.

We’ll answer just about anything you’d like to ask, from dating to depression, from how to get your parents to realize that you’re no longer 12 years old, to dealing with a roommate who acts as though he IS 12 years old. Your participation is what will make this column work.

With any luck, we’ll be around every couple of weeks with each new Index. In the meantime, if you’ve got something you really need to talk about, give us a call at 503-352-2191 to make an appointment to come see us.

If you have a question you would like answered by Pacific’s professional psychologists in the Index, email Jeff Guardalabene at drjeff@pacificu.edu or call the counseling center at 503-352-2191.

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