My Student Experience: Wellness Wednesdays provide opportunities for College of Education students to focus their mental health and wellbeing
Student life can be tough, especially as homework, essays and projects start to add to the stress already brought on by the pandemic. Trying to carve out time for personal wellness can seem impossible, which is why the Office of Student Success and Strategic Community Engagement at NC State College of Education has created Wellness Wednesdays, a weekly series of programs designed to provide students with the opportunity to center their mental health and well-being. -to be.
“Even though it’s the only time they have a chance to focus on themselves, it’s the time we can intentionally create,” said Kayla Baker, assistant director of student success.
Wellness Wednesdays began last semester, when Baker, along with Senior Director of Student Success Alex Kappus; and Crystal Espey, director of instructors at NC State, have come together in an effort to provide additional wellness opportunities for students.
Depending on the week, Wellness Wednesdays take place in virtual, face-to-face or asynchronous format, the objective being to meet students where they are. The programming itself varies. On past Wellness Wednesdays, students had the opportunity to hear from wellness professionals, learn about on-campus resources, and participate in activities like dance or yoga.
“I love how Wellness Wednesdays give us a weekly opportunity to take a break, connect and invest in our wellbeing,” said Andreas Jordan ’25, tech freshman. , engineering and design.
Susan Chen ’23MED, a master’s student in the higher education administration program who has attended a number of Wellness Wednesday sessions, says the focus on personal wellness is a essential life skill for educators.
“It’s an area where we are constantly giving, but at the same time we also have to take time for ourselves,” Chen said. “Having lived through a pandemic, we recognize the importance of maintaining good well-being, whether mental, physical, emotional or intellectual.”
Chen was even inspired to lead her own Wellness Wednesday session, titled “Creating Your Semester Wellness Action Plan,” which focused on how to prioritize and plan wellness goals. .
Jordan said it was helpful to be able to learn new wellness strategies from a graduate student.
“From this session, I learned to plan and allocate my time for different parts of my life and to include self-care in my routine,” Jordan said.
Finding ways to expose students to self-care concepts and resources is important, Baker says, and through Wellness Wednesdays, students have been able to attend a number of staff-led sessions. of NC State Wellness and Recreation.
“By bringing in these campus partners, it increases students’ awareness of on-campus resources, and hopefully sparks a bit of interest for them,” Baker said.
For Chen, it is important that all students know what is available.
“There are a ton of untapped resources on campus when it comes to wellness,” Chen said. “The main purpose of these sessions is to remind us to take care of our health and use these resources.”
While connecting students to resources is a key goal, Wellness Wednesdays also serve to create a sense of community within the College of Education.
“I think it’s good that students can talk about things without worrying about being judged,” said Cigdem Meral ’22PHD, a doctoral student in the field of study of teacher education and learning sciences. , learning design and technology. “It’s kind of like a safe space.”
Even though it’s tough being a student, Jordan says Wellness Wednesdays make it a little easier.
“It’s easy to get overwhelmed with work, and Wellness Wednesdays are a great way to take a break and learn valuable information to improve your wellbeing in all areas of your life,” says Jordan.
Registration for upcoming Wellness Wednesdays is available here.