Welcome to a new academic year, folks! It feels amazing to be back on campus and see Harvard Yard full of life. Not to mention how exciting it is to begin new classes, delve deeper into a favorite sphere of research, and connect with peers academically and socially. As the newest member of the GSAS Student Affairs team, this is my first time seeing the fall semester kick off at Harvard, and I have to admit the energy is definitely exhilarating.

Whether you are a new incoming student or a seasoned upper G-year, the start of the semester can be overwhelming and full of adjustments. We at the Office of Student Services want to remind you that it is totally normal to experience stress, confusion, or doubt.

Sometimes these feelings make it more challenging to problem solve or decide on a course of action. This is where I and our office program coordinator, Vicky Mooney, can help support you! Student Services is like the GPS for GSAS. (If you’ve ever stopped by to see us in the GSAS Student Center, you may have heard us use this phrase.) We help you troubleshoot and connect to the best resources for your circumstances, whatever they may be. We often refer students out to our many partner offices at GSAS, but are connected with many local community resources too.

So what kind of issues do students talk about? Anything and everything. Check out the chart of common student concerns below. Note that almost every area of life and the wellness wheel is covered—emotional, academic, interpersonal, and more.

Common Academic Issues

Advisor Concerns Switching, finding, or speaking with advisors
Lab Concerns Switching or finding a lab
  Lab culture
Productivity Time management and accountability
Mentoring Up  
Accessibility Concerns  
Administrative Board  

Common Interpersonal Issues

Communication Strategizing
Concern for Others Friends or colleagues
Personal Conflict In or outside of GSAS
Discrimination All forms except for Title IX
Program or Lab Culture  
Housing Roommate or landlord concerns
Relationship Concerns  

Common Financial Issues

Resources  
Budgeting  
Loss of Funding Due to switching labs or advisors
Unexpected Challenges Family care, medical bills, housing
Financial Wellness  

Common Physical Health Issues

Impact Academic or otherwise
Hospital Related  
Leave of Absence  
Accommodations  
COVID-19 Related  

Common Mental Health Issues

Impact Academic or otherwise
Hospital Related  
Leave of Absence  
Accommodations  
Referrals CAMHS, community providers, or groups
Imposter Phenomenon  

Common Professional Issues

Future Planning Career, family, academic opportunities
Communication  
Teaching Concerns  

Our goal in sharing this chart is to emphasize how normal it is to need help! We see students from all G-years, all departments, and all stages of life and the graduate journey. Almost 500 students made appointments in just the last year alone. Everyone gets a little lost at one time or another. Chances are, whatever you are going through, another student has been in the same position.  

No matter your issue or concern, whenever you find yourself feeling stuck come and visit B-2 to B-Well!

B-2 B-Well: Your GPS for GSAS

Banner by David Salafia