From stress to calm: the overstimulated college student

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Cluster teaching focus: We assist FYS students in transitioning to college by identifying coping tools for the stress of homesickness, academic and financial challenges as well as managing mental and physical health in the college setting. Guiding students through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) theory and discipline provides an awareness of self and spiritual "Self" as they move into an independent academic path at a liberal arts setting. MBSR also introduces them to a way of connecting deeper to others, to their world, and their communities. In contrast, technology can be one of the barriers to students' success with the constant barrage of social media, use of their smartphones and other personal electronic devices. Through readings and reflective activities examining their dependence on technology, students are guided to a greater awareness of where they stand with the question: When do we own technology and when does it own us? We explain how we came to the need of combining our expertise with mindfulness and social media as students transition to the college setting. We also reflect on student comments, projects, and writings that help us better understand the reality of their situation. Finally, we reach out to colleagues for feedback on the need to better shape a necessary wellness program to highly anxious, overstimulated, and perhaps over-protected students who can better grow through a larger use of this same unit.


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