As finals approach and students face the academic pressures of final projects and exams, Marshall University’s library staff is preparing for much-needed stress relief for students.
Sarah Mollette, MU’s online research librarian, said she inherited MU’s library outreach and stress relief services in 2018, and many of her colleagues always try to respect student stress and create a better learning environment for students. She said events include online workshops for students to help them improve their research and writing skills, DIY events, and even recorded yoga sessions. Stress relief week will take place during “dead week,” April 12-16.
Tiffany Kane, a junior videography student, said she was not aware of MU’s stress relief week activities but she would be willing to participate. She said this has been a stressful year for her and many other students and it has been difficult to follow the activities MU still provides.
“COVID has made stress worse, I think,” Kane said. “I feel a bit isolated and I’m not usually on campus for activities now.”
Sarah Mollette said that many of these events are online and can be accessed from the comfort of one’s home, such as the Morrow Library online scavenger hunt and escape rooms. In this activity, students will explore MU’s Special Collections and be entered in a prize drawing if they complete the event.
“This is a great opportunity to encourage students to explore these collections without the stress of a class or the pressure of grades,” Mollette said.
Mollette said she was most looking forward to “MU Paws,” when emotional support dogs will be brought to Drinko Library to interact with students.
Cassandra Watson, a senior English education student, said she usually participated in MU’s in-person stress relief events in previous semesters and she greatly enjoyed them. She said she also enjoyed MU’s DIY series.
“It’s so nice to be able to take a step back from everything stressful about school,” she said. “I like to be able to relax and it’s nice to see staff care about students’ mental health.”
Watson said this is a very busy semester for her as she prepares to graduate in May, and it has been harder for her to keep track of student activities this semester because she is usually not on campus due to student teaching and the switch to virtual learning. Watson said she appreciates MU’s program and would love to see it expanded in future semesters.
“I think it would be neat if every department had something for stress relief,” Watson said. “I think it would be a great way to reach more students and have more people involved. I think it would be a nice way for students and professors to build a caring relationship with each other.”
Watson also said she hopes there is more student outreach from the Campus Counseling Center, because it is a valuable resource many students aren’t aware is available.
Sarah Mollette said there is going to be outreach for the Campus Counseling Center and a link to the center is available on the stress relief week guide.
“This resource is so important to students,” Mollette said. “Many people don’t utilize this tool when they need it, especially during a time like this.”
Madison Perdue can be reached at [email protected]