April is “Stress Awareness Month.” This is a time when we are reminded to pay closer attention to both our mental and physical health. Everyone will experience some level of stress at one time or another. It’s part of life. So, what then are the best ways to manage the challenges related to stress?

We had the opportunity to chat with the Director of Counseling and Wellness Dr. Stacey Dutil to learn about the stressors that students are facing today and the support programs Vaughn offers to help them find comfort and a happy balance between college, work and family obligations.

Finding your balance at Vaughn

From your first day of class right up until graduation day, Vaughn is there every step of the way to ensure you have the emotional support you need—when you need it. “Vaughn offers a robust offering of programs and activities for students looking for a solid support system in a healthy social environment,” explained Dutil.

Here are some of the programs and activities that aim to help Vaughn students maintain a healthy college-life balance:

  • First-year initiative class—The “First Year Initiative Class” is part of Vaughn’s curriculum and a requirement for all incoming freshmen. The course is designed to educate students on ways in which they may take a proactive approach to wellness while pursuing their degrees. Some topics include maintaining positive mental and physical health and healthy eating and sleeping and study habits.
  • Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)—This academic and financial support program helps students enroll in—and succeed—through graduation. Support services include—but are not limited to—workshops, supplemental financial assistance, counseling and tutoring in certain areas. Learn more about HEOP here.
  • College Possible Mentorship Program (Catalyze)—College mentoring and opportunity programs, such as College Possible® Catalyze, help underserved, low-income and first-generation college students prepare for success. For the past two years, Catalyze coaches have been instrumental in guiding eligible Vaughn students to graduation by empowering them with tools and resources to achieve their goals. Learn more about the College Possible Mentorship Program here.
  • Residence assistants (RAs)—Students living on-campus can gain a sense of community and build a strong support system with help from their residence assistants (or RAs). In addition to their other residence duties, RAs organize a calendar of activities to keep students engaged.
  • Athletics and wellness—The athletics and wellness department offer mood-boosting classes and activities to promote positive mental and physical health. Some of these activities include yoga, Zumba and a variety of sports programs.
  • Speaker series—Vaughn invites industry leaders to speak on subjects that are most important to the mental and physical health of today’s college students. You can check out our calendar of upcoming events to see what’s coming up.

Here are some other helpful ways that you can nurture self-care:

  • Meditate
  • Exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Keep a journal

Read our blog, “Activities, Programs and Tips to Stay Mentally Fit in College,” to learn more great ways Vaughn helps support its students.

A message from Dr. Dutil

“We all—not just students—need to keep in mind that it’s important to take time for ourselves. Self-care is the first step toward recharging your body and mind for success and avoiding burn out. The office of counseling and wellness provides something for everyone. Self-care and wellness are not a ‘one size fits all.’ We are all unique. And at Vaughn, our diverse community is testament to proving that no matter what we are up against, we are all working toward a common goal—to live a healthy, balanced life.”

Are you feeling stressed or burned out? If you need someone to talk to or want more information on staying mentally healthy, we encourage you to make an appointment at the office of counseling and wellness.