With spring breaks wrapping up, college students across the country are taking a deep breath and starting to think about ramping up for final papers, exams, and theses. It's a stressful time...how can students stay calm, collected, and healthy?
Gretchen Kernbach at Uloop offers a list of six amenities property managers should offer students: fitness centers, lounges, volleyball courts, laundry services, movie theaters (!), and hammocks. That all sounds great to me — my own college dorm had only one of those, and that's if you define "lounge" generously — but here are a few more substantive suggestions for colleges looking to help their students make it through finals season with their mental and physical health intact.
It's not just about having a counseling office, it's about making help available to students. RAs, especially if they're only a year or two older, aren't always the most reliable sources of mental and emotional support. Nor are faculty advisors always ready to provide anything beyond strict academic guidance (and sometimes not even that). Counseling should be ready on hand, and not just for students in crisis.
I still don't quite believe how much cribbage my friends and I played in college, nor am I prepared to say that it stayed entirely within the bounds of what was advisable given our course loads...but having a few basic board games on hand can give students an easy way to take mental-health breaks when needed. You can even coordinate game nights, with people bringing their own games to share.
In grad school I was fortunate to live in a dorm that had hot and cold drinks available 24/7 — but as an undergrad, no such luck. Even if facilities (and budgets) can't accommodate constant tea service, the occasional tea night can become a social opportunity and an encouragement to lay off the energy drinks. Not that I'm judging coffee fiends — being one myself. When I was an RA, I invited a local roaster to come in and offer a sampling of his wares.
Especially if transit access is limited, campuses can turn into isolated islands. Outings to local parks or museums can help students stop to smell the daisies — or see the Water Lilies.
Why not bring live music out of the concert hall and into the dorms — or onto the quads? Of course, when live music isn't available, YourClassical is always ready with a continuous stream of relaxing music. It's just what the doctor (as in the Ph.D.) ordered.