Month: November 2017


Educational Program of the Month
Week of Wellness

School: University of British Columbia Region: PACURH
Person in charge: Morgan Cornfield Nominator: Katie Bartel

Target Population: 180 Time Needed to Organize: 3 Weeks
Number of People in Attendance: 43 Date(s) of Program: November 26 - December 2, 2017
Number of People Needed to Organize: 1 Cost of Program: $50
On-Campus Population: 12000 Chapter Size: 20

Origin of Program:

University exams are hard. Not only do students need to study challenging content to maintain a certain GPA, but they need strong time management skills, stress management techniques, motivation, and self-discipline. Many students develop these habits over time as they learn about what they need and want during the final exam period; however, the residents of Salish House are entering their first ever university level exams and they haven't had the time to learn from experience.

One trend that is prevalent during the exam period is a lack of attention to wellness. As stress and pressure build, students eat less healthily or less frequently, they don't exercise as much, and they don't experience as much social engagement, broadly speaking.

Morgan Cornfield, an RA in Salish House, wanted to adopt a preemptive approach to help her residents prepare both mentally and physically for exams to promote wellness during a stressful time. Morgan thus created a "Week of Wellness" with a different exam- related wellness program each day during the week leading up to final exams, marketed to all residents of Salish House. Morgan also created passive material for residents who could not attend any of the programs.

Word Count: 196

Please give a short description of the program:

"Week of Wellness" was a week-long program consisting of 7 events, each targeted at exam preparation, de-stressing, and stress education. The events were supplemented with passive material including encouraging posters on walls throughout Salish House, bubble wrap taped to the wall in common areas for residents to pop, and information and worksheets including exam tips, exam preparation resources, stress management tips, blank study schedule templates, and nutrition information.

Following is a brief description of each program during the week:

"How to Survive Finals 101"- Salish House advisors were available to speak to residents about exams within their specific faculty. Residents were able to socialize with other students and advisors, and get exam advice from individuals who have experienced the exams they are currently going through.

"DIY Stress Ball Making"- Residents made homemade stress balls out of flour and balloons, and were able to learn about stress management during exam season.

"Yoga / Meditation"- Morgan lead a yoga class for all skill levels. The class focused on breathing techniques aimed at keeping oneself calm, and simple yoga and meditation techniques to alleviate stress.

"Healthy Eating during Finals"-- Registered Dietitian Hillary Stevens and Wellness Peer and nutrition student Tracy Tam presented a workshop to students about nutrition and stress. The workshop included basic nutrition information, as well as information on how to get the nutrients your brain needs to maintain focus and energy during exam season, how to access those nutrients in residence dining rooms, as well as stress management techniques for exams.

"Personalize your Study Schedule"- Residents learned how to Bullet Journal, and applied those skills to creating personal study schedules to keep themselves accountable during exam period. Many passives on how to Bullet Journal, how to effectively make a study plan, and how to effectively manage one's time were available.

"Paint Away your Stress"- Residents were able to paint, relax and de-stress on the last day of classes. Painting supplies such as paints, brushes, and canvases were supplied, as were passives on stress management.

"Salish House Study Session"-Residents were encouraged to study as a group in the house lounge. Drinks were provided, as were many passives on study techniques, stress management, stress alleviation, time management, and self-care.

Morgan got most of her supplies at the Programme Resource Centre on campus and created thank-you cards for the campus partners involved in the nutrition workshop.

Word Count: 394

Goals of the program:

This program had many goals, all aimed at educating and supporting positive wellness habits during the December exam period and helping residents prepare both mentally and physically for exams. These included:

- Educating residents about time and stress management techniques by creating study schedules and practicing yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques.

- Preparing residents mentally and physically for their first exams of University with study schedules and advice on what exams look like across faculties.

- Providing space and opportunity for residents to relax and focus on wellness before settling into a study habit.

- Educating residents about the importance of maintaining balance during exams both in physical activity, social activity, and nutrition.

- Providing opportunities for residents to relax and connect with other students prior to the exam time social lull.

- Educating residents about exam support resources and systems on campus for all faculties and exam types.

- Encouraging motivation and self-discipline for studying through bullet journaling and the creation of study schedules.

- To end the residents' first term at university on a positive note.

- To encourage students through passives throughout the house.

Word Count: 188

Positive and lasting effects of the program:

- Students accessed passives on time and stress management, and also learned tangible skills to help alleviate stress, including yoga and breathing techniques, scheduling, and planning.

- Students could speak with advisors who have gone through first year exams, and learn study tips and techniques via passive programming to help them succeed with their exam preparation.

- Students were encouraged to de-stress through yoga, crafting, and painting.

- Students learned self-care techniques such as stress alleviation and proper nutrition, and had access to many passives on self-care and stress management.

- Students could connect with other residents around the house that they may not see on a regular basis. Because this program was targeted at the whole house, there were many inter-floor connections that took place.

- Students had access to many passives that detailed support resources that they can access during exam period, and could speak with advisors about other resources on campus.

- Students were encouraged to take exams seriously, and to make sure to put in the necessary effort to succeed. Students learned what exams are like from advisors within their faculties, learned how to properly manage stress during exams, and how to plan accordingly.

Word Count: 199

Short evaluation of the program:

Overall the events went really well with participation anywhere from 1-10 residents at each event. If this event were to be run again, the following would help to improve the events:

- Contact the dietitian earlier: since the residence dietitian was on vacation, Morgan had to reach out to other campus partners, who would have benefited from additional planning time.

- Better budgeting: RHA House council provided $50; however, Morgan purchased extra supplies and could have planned better and purchased additional bubble wrap instead to cover more ground and last longer.

- Start advertising earlier: Morgan began advertising on Facbook about a week before the start of the event, but could not put up posters until she met with the dietitian to finalize the date she could come in. As such, posters did not go up until 3 or 4 days before the event began.

- Event timing: while appropriately timed with the start of exams, that was also a busy week for Morgan, who became stressed about facilitating the events around her schedule. Additional advance program planning and getting ahead more academically could have alleviated some facilitator stress.

Word Count: 190

How could this program be adapted to other campuses?

This event was very low budget and the individual events were simple and versatile enough to be facilitated on any campus for any number of residents.

With additional budget: - institutions could hire a certified yoga instructor, purchase additional bubble wrap, or provide snacks at events.

With a smaller budget:- worksheets and passives could be made available online, bubble wrap could be eliminated, and painting could happen on paper rather than canvas.

With additional people:- this could be run as a team program, with each team member taking on one event to alleviate the burden of one staff member programming every day for a week.

Supplies used include: posters, passives, projector, art supplies, beverages, balloons, flour, bullet journalling templates, blank study schedules, bubble wrap, motivational posters.

Word Count: 126

Date of entry into database: 2017-12-04 18:55:53

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