Laker Help Link
Dealing with a Tragedy Away from Home
While away from home and loved ones, life goes on. Sometimes unpleasant events occur while at school, possibly many miles away from home and your natural support system. Often these events involve some type of loss, which may be in the form of a death of a loved one, close friend, close relationship, family pet, or maybe even a breakup.
What are some common responses to hearing bad news from home?
- Disbelief and shock
- Problems sleeping and eating
- Inability to focus on school work, work, or even recreational activities
- Depression or anxiety
- Self isolation
What are some things you can do after you get bad news from home?
Talk about it.
- Share your feelings and concerns with friends, Resident Assistants/Multicultural Assistants, professors, classmates, and family.
- By talking with others, you will feel better and realize that you are not alone; many other people have dealt with similar feelings and are understanding.
Take care of yourself.
- Get enough sleep.
- Do things that you find relaxing and soothing.
- Remember to eat nutritious foods and exercise.
- Avoid excessive drinking and risk-taking activities.
- Avoid making impulsive decisions or major life decisions.
- As soon as you can, go back to your usual routines and include activities that you enjoy.
Ask for help.
- Talk with a trusted friend or family member.
- Talk to your academic advisor and professors about missing class and/or assignments.
- Talk to your work supervisor and/or student organization advisor about schedule conflicts or responsibilities.
- Use on-campus resources such as the Counseling Center, Campus Ministries, and Health Center.
GVSU Counseling & Career Development Center
Page last modified September 14, 2010