Life is a balancing act for most students — school, homework, extracurricular activities, work and what’s left of a social life, all squeezed into a week. While some students may thrive on that kind of stress and pressure, the rest aren’t so lucky. Stress catches up with everyone, and it’s helpful to know where to go if you want help managing it.
For any new student, the First Year Success Program is a resource that opens doors for students and gives ideas about how to combat stress during the semester.
“We engage students within the campus community and show them what it means to be a Metro student,” said Cynthia Baron, Associate Director for Learning Communities and the First Year Success Program. “The FYS Program has many benefits for students, like getting support from teachers and especially from peers, and the opportunity to get more involved in the learning experience by developing ‘learning communities.’”
The pairing of two general studies courses — one content-based and one skills-based — forms the “learning communities” that students take together as a group, according to their website,
msudenver.edu/fys. FYS guarantees enrollment in high-demand general studies classes and provides personalized advising. The program has over 50 student employees that act as “peer advisors” or coaches.
“Peers have a different relationship with each other,” Baron said. “They feel more comfortable talking to one another on a more personal level.”
The FYS Program also encourages a healthy lifestyle, which has been proven to reduce stress. The program is working with the Healthy Moves Program on a new project called “Fun Fit Fridays,” where students can take part in a Friday yoga, Pilates, Zumba or belly dancing class.
“We are trying to introduce healthy ways of coping with and managing stress,” Baron said.
They will also be holding the “De-Stress Fest” in October — a week-long event that will feature workshops that teach study skills, stress management and resource utilization, as well as hosting additional fitness classes throughout the week.
Another resource available to all students, not just those in FYS, is the counseling center, located in Tivoli 651, where first-time visitors need no appointment. According to its website, the center provides individualized counseling, a crisis intervention hotline, support groups, diversity workshops, smoking cessation and free on-line screenings for multiple disorders.
“The counseling center staff can help you find ways to manage difficult times and provide you with a comforting place to examine your life and learn more about yourself so you can realize your potential,” according to the website.
Students should remember not to let themselves get too overwhelmed as the semester progresses, and should take advantage of the resources available on campus.
People: Cynthia Baron