By: Nick Santangelo

It’s Wellness Week at Temple University! All week, the university is calling attention to the stresses and mental health risks that students have to adjust to now that they’re all settled into campus and well into the fall semester. Today, Sept. 18, students are invited to stop by Room 200BC in the Student Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to take advantage of a variety of wellness resources.

But since not every student has time to drop by, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is providing a few helpful reminders thanks to Psychology Assistant Professor of Instruction Sandra Sepulveda-Kozakowski.

Mental Wellness Factors to Be Aware Of

Whether you’re a freshman or transfer student in your first full month on campus or a grad student with years of familiarity, the start of the fall semester presents a big adjustment from summer. Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski points out that students are now balancing their classes with work schedules, student activities, financial responsibilities and the need to develop new social circles in a new environment.

“They’re learning how to budget their time to make all of those factors successful and to succeed academically as well as meeting the other financial, social or athletic goals that they have,” says Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski. “They also might not know who to ask or how to ask for help if they're having trouble adjusting or getting acclimated.”

Who to Contact for Help

As for that last note, any student who’s having wellness concerns is encouraged to reach out to either the Wellness Resource Center or Tuttleman Counseling Services. The two services provide all Temple students with peer counseling, group counseling, wellness screenings and emergency resources. Please reach out if you’re in need.

Staying Balanced Is Crucial

“I think that students who succeed academically have figured out a way to balance all the demands in their life and have found a way to have fun and enjoy what they're learning,” says Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski.

She adds that it’s also on CLA professors to engage students and make it possible for their learning experiences to be enjoyable. When students feel lost, overwhelmed or alone, the professor explains, their academic, social and/or athletic lives can suffer.

How to Find That Balance

So, how do you keep your life balanced while you’re a student? Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski has a few quick suggestions:

  • Keep a regular schedule
  • Develop realistic daily goals
  • Make time for sleep, fun and social activities

“I think it's important that students can also reach out to others—to friends, coaches or to resident advisors if they live on campus,” she says, “or pretty much anyone in the Temple community if they're feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.”

Avoid Procrastination

Almost every college student has at some point or another put off a big project, paper or study need until the last moment and tried to cram it all in at once. But for all but a very few students who can succeed by doing it, procrastinating isn’t a good idea.

“It’s more effective for students to be organized and break up their academic year, including breaks, fun, sleeping and exercise,” says Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski. “A lot of times when you’re stressed it makes it difficult to think clearly, and when it's hard to think clearly, it's hard to succeed academically and achieve your goals.”

Stay Positive

When things are feeling down, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like things are hopeless. But Dr. Sepulveda-Kozakowski’s last bit of advice is for students to remain upbeat.

“Try to have a hopeful, positive perspective of yourself and your future. We know from positive psychology that it is valuable, and little things like smiling and laughing throughout the day are helpful.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please reach out for immediate assistance.

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