Sometimes life leads people in a different direction than they planned. Reesa Ramsahai, originally from Trinidad, worked in mechanical engineering for several years before deciding to change careers and earn a Master’s degree in counseling psychology. Now, she works as a UCA staff counselor and coordinator of the Outreach program.
What does UCA’s Outreach program do?
“Part of what we do is educate because it takes education to prevent life from getting overwhelming for students to the point that they have to come see a counselor. So, part of it is educating people and also increasing awareness of certain illnesses so they know where to come and get help and recognize the signs. It is prevention and education. We go out of the counseling center to meet people and educate them so life does not get overwhelming.”
What is your favorite thing about UCA?
“The energy level – there is always something new happening. Because of the population we are working with, there is always a lot of energy. And if you want to be up on the newest and the latest, university campus is where it is at. I don’t think you could ever get bored on a university campus.”
When you aren’t at work, what do you like to do?
“Garden – I have one dog and two cats and I love to garden and be out in nature. When I am not at work, I like to play in the dirt.”
Do you have any advice for UCA students who want to be successful?
“One, make sure college is where you want to be at this time. Second, college is like a job. Work it like a job. School is challenging for many of our students because they are doing many things – they have work, a family. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you are overwhelmed, you may want to cut back. These directions for one person don’t always work well for another, so if you do what you can realistically manage, that would really help.”
Do you have a philosophy for life?
“Absolutely. Everyone needs to have a philosophy for life. Have fun as much as you can. Life is too short not to have fun. Don’t take life too seriously, but, most importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously. Because when you start doing that, you become boring.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“People – I feel very lucky because, in counseling, I meet some of the strongest students who have the strength to survive many things and go on and be successful. I have learned so much from the people I have worked with. I have a lot of admiration for many of our students.”
Can you describe some of the new workshops through the counseling center and how these programs are going to help students?
“The reason we have made the workshops is that groups help students realize they aren’t alone. We cannot see everyone at once; we would just be short [staffed]. So groups really help students realize that they aren’t alone in what they are going through. There are plenty of workshops to choose from and help students grow and learn.”