University offers help to students dealing with 'adulting'

Being an adult is not all it's cracked up to be, and a university wants to help its students deal with failure and other pitfalls of growing up.

East Carolina University is starting a program to teach its students how to deal with the stresses of "adulting," the Daily Reflector of Greenville reported.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy said the school has seen a growing demand for counseling and other support services with students requesting 9,000 appointments last school year -- an increase of 1,800 in two years.

"Students don't have an opportunity as much these days to manage failure, they don't experience it in certain ways as much so they don't know how to manage it when it happens," Hardy told the Daily Reflector.

Apparently, social media is not helping. Hardy said people see "picture-perfect versions" of their friends' lives and believe their own life should be the same.

"Younger people think success is going from point A to point B without a lot of stuff in between, a straight shot," she said.

There has also been an increased usage of narcotics, which can be used as a coping mechanism.

According to the Reflector, the university started collecting data in spring 2015 to figure out how to address these issues.

When students return in the fall, they will take a self-assessment about their own resiliency that asks questions like whether "they are easily discouraged by failure, take pride in their accomplishments and have the ability to handle stress and overcome challenges."

Additionally, the college has increased its counseling staff and introduced a new training program called Recognition, Insight and Openness to teach students mindfulness and other cognitive-affective stress management techniques.

"What is the self-talk you're having with yourself? Are you beating yourself up because you got a C?" Hardy told the Reflector. "If you change the self-talk, you can then change the behavior that's exhibited."

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