PLU’s Health and Counseling centers: What I Wish I’d Known Sooner

EDITOR’S NOTE: First-Years and Seniors are the two classes that use PLU’s on-campus Counseling Center the most. Here are two new graduates’ perspectives on why it’s useful to keep tabs on what the Health and Counseling Centers have to offer you in your Senior year.

By Alex Wisbeck ’14

Growing up, I never had a relationship with a primary-care physician where I could comfortably ask him health-related questions, and “going to the doctor” was always sort of a hassle, and it was hard to get an appointment.

So, since coming to PLU, I have found the student Health Center very helpful. The staff at the Health Center is extremely approachable and has been very helpful answering my health-related questions. Scheduling an appointment is quick and easy using the center’s website, and because office visits are free, I was never reluctant to seek care or wait until my symptoms got worse before getting a checkup.

Many of the services offered by the Health Center are free as well, so getting lab work to test for common college illnesses, like strep throat, is fast and easy. Protecting yourself from illness is easy and affordable—if you are under 19, most of the vaccines offered are free, but even past your 19th birthday, the flu shot remains free.

If you have a more serious illness, the center can refer you to a specialist that will work with your insurance and help you avoid the emergency room, which can be quite expensive. When I injured my shoulder, I didn’t know where to go, but the staff at the Health Center recommend nearby facilities that could give me an X-ray and make a diagnosis.

The Health Center ensured I was able to continue my education without worrying about my health, because I knew I had quick, easy access to helpful and knowledgeable staff on campus.

By Kelsey Greer ’14

The Health and Counseling centers at PLU are two resources that are highly beneficial to students—but highly undervalued. As an underclassman, I had no clue as to the wide range of services both centers provide and now, as I recent graduate, I wish I had.

I visited the Health Center only when I was sick or needed help filling a prescription. It wasn’t until later that I discovered all the services it provides, such as free STD screenings (including HIV/AIDS) and women’s health procedures such as Pap smears—plus, visits to the center concerning these topics are free. When you look at the Health Center, you can’t imagine that a building like that could be equipped with the necessary materials to address the variety of issues college students have, but it is.

The Counseling Center is another great resource on campus that isn’t talked about enough. I think there is a fear that if someone goes to the Counseling Center, other students would assume something is wrong with her, but that is not true. There are plenty of students who use the Counseling Center as a way to ease into or out of the college culture. The counselors at PLU are specially equipped to deal with the issues of stress and anxiety that many of us face during our years in college. The Counseling Center provides the tools to help students push past these issues and succeed. Not only is the Counseling Center a great resource in helping with these issues; it’s also another resource that is free to students!

Had I known everything about these two resources that I do now, I definitely would have used them more. I highly encourage any and every student to use these centers, because they are at your disposal. They were implemented to support student success as well as to provide students with professionals they can trust and turn to in times of need.