Through navigating a variety of situations as an international student, I’ve learned the importance of understanding my rights. When I first arrived in BC at Thompson Rivers University, I was informed of my rights, which catered to both international and domestic students.
During the pandemic, I struggled with my mental health. Constantly being stuck indoors severely impacted my social well-being. Post-pandemic, I found it challenging to interact with other people or be in public spaces, often feeling anxious. I tried to suppress these emotions, but it only made it worse, which led to panic attacks.
My friend Tawana noticed my distress and asked me if I was aware of the free student services offered by our university. At that moment, I wondered if it was already too late to seek the help that I needed. Tawana introduced me to university resources such as spiritual support from the chaplain and counselling sessions. I was initially apprehensive, but eventually, I gained confidence by consistently attending these sessions.
To my international student peers, I urge you to get familiar with the services and rights available to you at your university. Understanding these can enhance your educational experience. Don’t hesitate to seek help, even if you are unaware of these resources initially. There’s always someone who can support you.