The schoolwork continues to pile up. The papers keep coming, the work is never-ending and your social life may seem nonexistent. These factors can cause stress for any student, and with stress comes the anxiety that can sometimes feel like it’s slowly eating away at your mental health.
Unfortunately, students are not always aware of how to properly cope with stress. Trying to find a balance between school, work and a social life can be hard.
In response to the increasing number of college students feeling overwhelmingly anxious, the UNCG Counseling Center has put together a support group called SMILE to help students better plan and achieve academic goals through informing students of healthy ways to relieve stress and cope with anxiety.
The name SMILE may seem ironic at first considering stress and anxiety have been linked to the risk of developing depression, but it actually stands for Stress Management to Improve Learning Experiences. The support group consists of four facilitators: Brian Hollingsworth, Sherry Kelly, Tiana Roberts, and Shelby Malize.
To begin the process, the facilitators ask students to introduce themselves by playing a game that involves answering a question as simple as, “Do you prefer hotdogs or hamburgers?”
While the questions are basic, the meaning of the exercise is to ease the tension between the students to create a safe space in order for them to come together as a group to discuss issues they are experiencing and ways in which their stress affects their academic performance.
Additionally, one of the group facilitators, Sherry Kelly, said that later in the semester students will explore a variety of stress and anxiety relieving natural remedies such as aromatherapy and scented candles.
For more information about upcoming events and workshops, feel free to visit https://shs.uncg.edu/cc. SMILE meets from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday in the Counseling Center located on the second floor of the Anna M. Gove Student Health Services Center. SMILE has only just begun its weekly meetings, but newcomers are welcome at any time until the program ends on April 29.