OPINION: Help is available for struggling students

OPINION: Help is available for struggling students

AIMEE JIMENEZ, Contributor

Like many college students, I spent more time meeting deadlines than caring for my health. I struggled to eat proper-sized meals and get enough sleep. I had a hard time exercising and staying organized and in control.

Any sleep I could catch, my body ate away at my healthy fat and muscles to keep me warm and alive. I ended up compromising my immune system. Even now, I overheat without a fever because my immune system is more alert to illness. I sold my health for grades.

Every day students are not only stressed from class responsibilities, but they are also impacted due to personal variables like family issues, financial strain and food and housing insecurity. Then there are the physical, social and psychological complications brought on by the pandemic.

Students who don’t address these stressors risk affecting their mental and physical health, and ultimately their ability to earn a degree or certificate.

Help is here, we just need to know where to look.

Mental and physical health can be cared for with the help of the Student Care Network. This holistic network is designed to help students meet all needs and excel in their academics. It is comprised of three offices with one purpose: students.

This care team, composed of Basic Needs and Community Connections, Counseling Services and Health Services, wants students to focus on their education and not have to worry about insecurities and stressful situations.

Basic Needs and Community Services addresses food insecurity through Eastfield’s food pantry. The Honeycomb Cupboard food pantry is located on campus in C-105 and is supplied with proper ingredients for meal planning.

Students can also go there and get help applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Emergency aid funds are available for students who need help paying for food, shelter, childcare and transportation. More information is available here.

Counseling Services support personal and emotional health and are available in person and online.

Health Services promotes wellness and provides preventative care to meet the physical needs of students. Nursing services include health information, confidential counseling, care for illness and injuries, emergency care and over-the counter medicines. Students’ information is kept private.

With so many resources available through Dallas College, there is nothing but opportunity for a successful education. Students should not be ashamed to ask for help.

I hope students will not be afraid to use the resources specifically designed to aid them in college.

Aimee Jimenez is a contributor and a communications major