Skip to content Skip to navigation
Skip to global navigation Menu

Dean of the College

Vassar College

The following student encounter scenarios provide examples of what to consider, how to listen and support, and where to refer the student in need.

Lonely and Isolated

The student just went through a romantic relationship breakup. Their friendship group was closer with their ex than with them, so now they do not have regular access to friends either. The student is feeling lonely and isolated and is beginning to eat meals in their room, and avoiding their usual activities. Read about this social encounter.

Struggling Academically

The student is struggling academically. Feels pressure from family and from self to succeed. The student has not been handing in work, and avoiding contact with professors both in person and via email. They have been experiencing a lot of shame, and are not talking to friends or family about what they are experiencing. They show up to a scheduled meeting with you after missing two others in past weeks, and with prompting, share what’s been going on. Read the encounter with a student struggling academically.

Concern for Another Student

The student who works in your office is very worried about a close friend on campus who has been self-injuring and is not functioning well. The student has been taking care of their friend a lot and it is now impacting their own ability to focus, get their work done, etc and they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Read the encounter with a student concerned about another student.

Emotional Stress from Finances and Family

The student is from a lower-income family. Sending work/study money home and can’t afford their own living expenses beyond what the college covers in financial aid. They worry about their family not having enough to eat. The student has been connected to the CARE office to assist with connection to needed on and off-campus resources. They continue to feel sad and guilty about being at school and not doing enough to support their family. The student starts to cry during your conversation. Read the encounter with a student struggling with emotional and financial stress.