From the Student Monitoring System (SMS), some grantees expressed that they often experience difficulties in communicating with their professor or research advisor, whereas they need to, for instance, finish their final research project soon. Besides, some also feel uncomfortable in negotiating their needs with authoritarian parents. Based on that, Teman Curhat discussed on how to be assertive. During the sessions, the participants discuss strategies on how to be assertive, such as understanding what we need, perspective taking, provides alternatives, and improve expertise/knowledge of things that we will propose. After the session, the participants understand that being assertive is essential in communication so that they can get what they want and keep maintaining a good relationship.
Furthermore, some grantees expressed severe family problems in SMS. For instance, parents and siblings who passed away, parents who commit infidelity, parents who have a mental or chronic illness, domestic abuse, and the constant exposure to financial problems faced by the family indicating that the students need to learn how to be resilient amid adversities. Strategies, such as starting to list their protective factors and their risk factors, were discussed during the session.
Adversities that often unpredictable need to be mitigated by understanding what are the factors that can prevent the students from going to the slum of adversities, bounce back, and keep productive. At the end of the session, the students understand that they need to rethink on factors that might harm them and factors that will protect them when bad things happen. Also, they need to start to build positive habits such as gratitude (e.g. mentioning 3 things that they grateful for that day) and focus their attention on things that they can change.
Some grantees mentioned that it is hard for them to maintain their motivation. They are sometimes highly motivated but sometimes less motivated without any reason. So, Teman Curhat discussed on how to keep on your track in achieving goals (self-determination). During the session, the participants discussed factors influencing their self-determination: such as the availability of choices that their parents provide (Autonomy), positive feedback they receive, and whether or not they do progress monitoring so far (Competence), as well as having a safe social environment (Relatedness). At the end of the session, the participants understand how to commit to their goals and how to be self-determined.
During the Teman Curhat session, some grantees cried and seemed to be clueless about the reason why they cannot control their emotions. Besides, some grantees indicating some depression symptoms, such as hard to concentrate, insomnia, and even self-harm/having suicidal thoughts. Thus, the Teman Curhat session tried to analyze what might cause those symptoms as well as suggesting strategies to avoid depressions such as discussing struggles to the ones that they trust, build positive habits, and mindfulness training. At the end of the session, participants know how to avoid depression and feel relief after sharing their feeling.
Based on SMS, some students expressed that they feel insecure about who they are, and it limits their ability to get along with others. Besides, coming from an underprivileged family makes them feel unconfident about many things. Thus, Teman Curhat discusses Self-Esteem and suggests the students not to let anyone invalidate them. Three components of self-efficacy such as self-worth, self-love, and self-efficacy were discussed. After the session, the students understand that they shouldn’t let the power to estimate their values to others.