Anissa Rodriguez, a TSTC Digital Media Design student, has a conversation about her college experience with Brandi Cruz, a counselor at TSTC’s Harlingen campus.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – The stress of being a first-time college student, difficulty balancing school and work, and isolation can all be reasons why students might need someone to talk to.

Texas State Technical College counselors Brandi Cruz and Angela Dunn are ready to help students with these and other problems in their jobs at TSTC’s Counseling and Mental Health Services department.

Dunn said counseling can help students with self-development.

“It serves as a nonjudgmental state for them to work through whatever they need at that time,” she said. “Students can set up an appointment by email, phone call or by scanning a QR code. It takes them to a Google form where they input their information.”

Dunn said her motivation is witnessing students’ growth.

“We’ve seen many of our students through various stages, and it’s amazing when they reach their goals,” she said.

Cruz said her goal is to help people.

“I meet with the students, listen to their concerns and develop a treatment plan,” she said. “What I enjoy is seeing how they implement the skills that I’ve given them.”

Cruz said counselors need to show empathy.

“It’s important to be there for a student as a supporter in a professional manner,” she said. “The pandemic affected many students with their social skills. We’re trying to help them improve that skill and others.”

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