Studying in crisis mode – the idea behind this blog

“It’s been tough, really tough...”

This comment comes up in nearly every conversation about the events of the past year and a half. But this seemingly innocuous observation conceals an absolute stack of complex challenges that we have been forced to confront: everything turned on its head in our daily lives, plans we can no longer follow through on, less – and radically different types of – personal contact, dashed hopes, life plans suddenly undermined. Worries and anxieties.

All of us have had to come to terms with a pandemic and its effects – it’s had a huge impact on all aspects of our lives, and in particular on your studies. For many people, this has triggered a psychological response – negative feelings and moods are a completely natural reaction to major changes and restrictions that nobody saw coming.

Yes, it was tough, really tough – and it still is.

But the past 18 months have also had their upsides – out of necessity, and probably more quickly than we would have done in different circumstances, we’ve been forced to think about new solutions. Finding alternative ways of keeping in touch with each other, continuing to hold classes and making sure communications run smoothly were the main focus last semester.

In the face of tighter restrictions, we tried out new things and questioned established principles. Personally speaking, I found that one of the key guiding principles behind mental health support at the university doesn’t always ring true – counselling outside the conventional face-to-face, one-on-one format isn’t just effective, it actually has additional strengths all of its very own. Support provided over the phone and in video conferences has become an important tool which we can now use to supplement traditional approaches.

The idea of using a blog to address mental health topics and questions that come up regularly, and making information available to a wider student audience was also born out of the need to move away from established methods. I think it’s important that you have the opportunity to get to know me and my work, gain insights into how psychological support services work, and maybe take away some valuable advice.

But before we start looking at the various topics I’m going to cover, I think it’s really important to draw your attention to a point that’s overlooked far too often: no matter what situation you find yourself in right now, you should be proud of everything you’ve achieved in such an unparalleled situation, under extremely difficult conditions. I suspect that we’ll only realise further down the road just how far we’ve come and how important the progress is that we’ve made during this time.


Contact:

If you have any questions or would like to have a consultation, please contact me at:

Groh, Angelika

Psychologist

+43 1 720 12 86-13

angelika.groh@fh-vie.ac.at