” I’m lost. I’m afraid of missing my exams », Worries a student. ” I feel lonely Another warns. ” I don’t know how to do it anymore… I spend my time on social networks, I can’t concentrate », Says a student. At the end of the telephone line, the students express their anxieties to one of the 16 psychologists from the psychological listening cell at Paul Valéry University in Montpellier.
→ TESTIMONIAL. The confinement undermines the morale of the students: “Once a week, I tell myself that I will let go of everything”
Since the announcement of the reconfinement, the 21,000 students of this university have found themselves isolated, some for the second time. The experience of the first confinement therefore prompted management to put in place a series of measures to support them. In addition to a solidarity grocery store, access to computer tools and a few rooms in the university library, a telephone number, accessible six days a week, was set up as of November 5. ” The first two days, the pace of calls was very strong. We were overwhelmed », Explains Cécile Neuville, coordinator of the listening platform, commissioned by the university.
“Alone, at home, I no longer understand anything”
Since then, more than 130 students have called the number, a third of whom are in great distress. ” Some are very angry, need to empty their bags. Others develop anxiety disorders. We sometimes refer them to medical care or to social assistance from the university. Another third just needs to talk, to be reassured. ” Sometimes they sleep badly, have nightmares. Most live far from their families. We try to find positive solutions with them. We work on anxiety but also on hope and optimism », Assures psychologist Cécile Neuville. Conversations vary from ten minutes to over two hours.
Every day, a dozen students contact the telephone number. Like Naïka, 21, isolated in her student room in a university residence. Since all of her lessons are remote, she feels overwhelmed. She’s drowning in homework, video lessons, books and software. ” Alone, at home, I don’t understand anything anymore, I’m losing my footing », She explains, holding her head, sitting in front of her desk, which also serves as a dining table. ” I need to be framed. “
“I needed to hear comforting words”
When she decided this summer to resume her studies to obtain the equivalent of the baccalaureate – a DAEU – Naïka had imagined something else. ” I want to have this diploma in one year. I have no room for error », She swings, demanding. ” But, there, I feel like picking it up. So when she received an SMS from the university announcing the opening of the psychological cell, she did not think for long. “ I wasn’t sure what to expect. I needed to hear comforting words She sighs.
In her small studio, she moves from her desk to bed, little more, a little trip to the pizzeria on Monday evening after her English class. Some days, she goes online from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. ” At the end of my nose, I paddle, and the teacher speaks to himself », She says, showing her schedule lined with overlapping multicolored materials.
English, French, Geography, Literature… To the “telephone shrink”, she confided her doubts about her ability to succeed in her diploma, to no longer disperse, to organize herself better. ” She told me that I will get there, it made me feel good. “
“That day, finally, I’m kidding. “
Surrounded by her binders, her books and her little blue fabric case, Naïka wants to hang on. ” The days merge. I get up but I don’t go out to take the tram, I don’t go to the library. It is complicated… Fortunately, on Wednesday, she can continue her job as an animator in a recreation center, a breath of fresh air, even masked. ” That day, finally, I laughed. For her, as for a third of the students who contact the cell, a single call was enough to break the isolation. ” But if needed, reassures Naïka, I know I can recall them. “