I have a student activities client who decided to create a line item for wellness activities within their yearly budget. The concept was that a portion of the funds would be allocated toward activities that promote student wellness, or well being.
With so many students carrying an inordinate amount of stress from the demands of college, work and all that goes all long with the growing pains of becoming a self sufficient contributing person in society, I think we owe it to our students to help them learn how to cope. We owe it to them to help them avoid burn out and learn to enjoy the ride we called life.
How great would it be if as part of the college experience students learned how to manage their stress levels so that they could the process of pursuing and obtaining their goals and dreams.
Yes, many schools have a health and wellness department on campus but many of them do not have the funds to carry out extensive programs. Students don’t tend to take an active interest as they do with other departments, so health and wellness departments are not heavily influenced by student opinion or input.
When students think of the term “student activities” they do not think of health, wellness or stress reduction. Students think about the fun activities. Yes, student activities are about fun and fun can certainly relieve stress, but the intention with fun is not always about giving students the tools that they need to actively manage their stress on a regular basis. Instead of planning strictly fun activities, why not choose to plan an activity that is fun, but that also give students the tools that they need to deal with the stress that they inevitably encounter during college life. How about showing students through experience the value of taking action to relieve or prevent the pitfalls of stress?
Learning positive ways, such as massage therapy, of dealing with stress can be enjoyable, fun, relaxing and energizing. The choice between having a carnival or a stress relief program shouldn’t really be a question. The mindset behind one or the other is completely different. It’s not the same as hey, “Lets bring a band in or a magic show.” This is a choice between something that prepares students long term, or a short term solution. I would love to hear thoughts from people who are in student activities, working on college campuses and attending students.