A campus guide to de-stresssing
Peer Connect and Student Wellnes Centre see high demand of students during exams
Exams are looming at Wilfrid Laurier University, but on-campus services, such as the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union’s Peer Connect service and the Wellness Centre, are ready to help students cope with stress.
Peer Connect runs stress-relieving activities such as game nights and has an anonymous phone service to provide students with information and support. The Student Wellness Centre offers counselling to students both physically and mentally through walk-ins or appointments.
The Wellness Centre is also committed to teaching students stress management techniques during exam and midterm periods. As a result of exam and midterm periods at Laurier, both organizations see more students using their services from late October and into December, in addition to attending classes.
“We’re always busy, but we do see an increase for walk-in crisis and students who walk in that are just completely distressed [and] unsure what to do,” said Tracey Watson, a counsellor at the Student Wellness Centre.
A way to cope with stress is realizing you’re not alone.
“Being around other people, I think that makes a big difference … and realizing that yes, you may be stressed but everyone is stressed and everyone is there to support each other,” said Amanda Widdified, Peer Connect coordinator.
While the services provided are ongoing, accommodations are being made to students during the busy time.
The Students’ Union has a leave of absence program available for their volunteers who may need a few weeks off to focus on their studies.
“Something that we say is you’re a student-volunteer, not a volunteer-student … you’re here for school, that’s your first and foremost priority and [volunteering] is something to enhance that,” said Kaipa Bharucha, vice-president of programming and services at the Students’ Union.
To meet the increased need for services at the Wellness Centre, if there is a late cancellation or someone does not show up for their appointment within 15 minutes, the time is usually given to a walk-in, as vacancies are uncommon.
“We try to see every student that comes through the door … Just trying to be as flexible as possible,” said Watson.
Attending fun activities is another way for students to de-stress.
“[Peer Connect’s] ongoing thing is getting people okay to talk to each other, we continue to promote that, we want people to build a connection with each other and through our game nights let’s say, it’s an easy resource for them to come to even if they just want to study at the space,” said Widdifield.
On December 2 and 3, Peer Connect and Healthy Lifestyles will be hosting “De-stress Your Life” in the Concourse where there will be mini-games for students to play.
According to Widdifield, the goal of “De-stress Your Life” is to “to take stress away even if it’s just for a small period of time because it makes a huge difference in the long run.”
While the students running these activities are busy as well, Bharucha said the programs and services offered by the Students’ Union will continue.
“We try to accommodate [stressed student-volunteers] as much as possible, I know with scheduling and shifting hours we just make sure that we have as many volunteers as we can that are able and available to do [programming].”