By Sasha Ray
The dorm-free first floor in the Fort Awesome residence hall lit up last night with signs pointing towards a cozily-lit, mandala-adorned space, nestled into the corner of the first floor. The Wellness Center, an on-campus resource for students seeking general health and overall well-being, opened their doors to introduce and invite students to utilize the space when needed throughout the year.
With the beginning of the semester upon students, stress is easily identifiable but difficult to cope with for the majority of them. Many students attended for a break from schoolwork and classes, and to learn about the upcoming events and uses of the space later in the year.
“I love the vibe here, it’s really cool and peaceful,” said Sha Gibbs, a junior. “I just came from work, and this is really the best thing for me right now.”
Run by Wellness Center interns, different stress-relieving activities were set up, capturing the nature of the space itself as an incorporative, welcoming atmosphere. Intern Yeshe Sherpa, a senior, expressed the importance and purpose of the event in general. The ongoing need for stress-relief in students is evident, and activities being readily available to all students provided necessary aid to students.
“This is for the community coming together to build a safe space and having a stress-free day,” Sherpa said. “As college students, there are moments in time where we feel really stressed out, and we’re doing stuff where people can actually use them on their own. Everything is DIY here, so people can do this in their own res halls or apartments, and you can do it with friends. You can have a collection of people doing this and make it into a bigger thing and create a healing space.”
Activities included creating vision boards, coloring mandalas, making face and hair masks or stress balls, and learning to knit, which particularly attracted a large number of students. Em Word, a senior, commented on the nature of the activity and how calming it was. “Knitting is a way to do something with your hands without really thinking about it,” Word said. “It’s very calming, even if you mess up.”
Utilized throughout the year for different events, the Wellness Center hosts yoga classes, support groups, and various other activities to promote health and well-being in all students.
Working five to ten hours a week, Wellness Center interns were able to uncover the tangible outcome of dedicated hours throughout the past several weeks by sharing their relaxation and de-stressing techniques and methods. Provided activities explored different areas of wellness in students, and were chosen and run by interns who also participated among the attending students.
“It’s important for the campus community to know what we offer at the here,” said counselor Robbie Morrell. “All students, especially freshmen and transfers, get to experience what we offer here. The Wellness Center engages students in all aspects to support their well-being.”
“Our undergraduate interns worked really hard on this event, and it was a success,” said graduate intern Vincent Walker. “They each incorporated different aspects of mindfulness into this in their own way. We had fun.”