More than 80% of US college students report feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, almost half of whom describe their academic experience as traumatic or very difficult to handle. Stress, sleep difficulties and anxiety are just some of the symptoms that manifest in college students. Undergraduates seem particularly susceptible to these stressors, but only one in five seeks medical consultation for their issues. (American College Health Association [ACHA], 2013)
To help students react to external and internal stressors, California Polytechnic State University’s Robert E. Kennedy Library initiated a program to support students during the most stressful times of the academic quarter. With an annual budget of just $800, the volunteer “Stressbusters” group organized twelve events during the 2013-14 academic year, bought snacks for more than 1000 students, promoted library services and initiated new campus-wide collaborations.
The team based their actions on current research in the field of psychology, and implemented guerilla methods to explore local student stressors and survey current moods of the local student body.
The paper presents preliminary results, lessons learned and best practices to emphasize how even small budgets and seemingly trivial activities can help reducing academic stress. The observations provide an opportunity for more formal research.
- public program
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cliegl/2/