Find Freshman zen

Starting the first year of college can be exciting. However, with all of the excitement and possibilities comes potential stress as well.

Beginning college itself is stressful. There is all of the paperwork, finding out what classes to take and organizing a schedule. If one is able to figure out how to pay for college, there is college life itself, which adds stresses like classes, homework and just navigating through education.

This is an experience that many face, and students are not alone. There are resources available to students to help deal with stress, many of which are at UAA. 

One way students can decompress is through physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, which can make stressed out students feel better, according to Harvard Health Medical School. 

Studies show that exercise can relieve stress, reduce depression and improve cognitive function,” according to The American Psychological Association website

The Seawolf Sports Complex can offer physical activities that will help blow off steam. A gym, skating rink, pool, basketball court, dance studio and weight rooms are available to use for students.

Enjoying nature may also relieve stress. The Outdoor Recreation Club offers events and volunteer opportunities that students can take part in. Being outside and socializing offers potential ways to relax. 

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Outdoor gear can also be rented at a discounted rate next to the Student Information Desk in the Student Union. Items that are available for rent include bikes, canoes, kayaks, dry gear packs, expedition tents, camping stoves, coolers, sleeping bags and whole gear packs for weekend camping. 

There are also many clubs and organizations to get involved in at UAA. A smorgasbord of selections are available. Socializing is a big part of clubs and can be stress relieving. From Anthropology Club to Chronicles of Yarnia to Greek Life and everything in between, there is something for everyone to find interest in and to connect with other students.

Meditation is also known to promote stress relief, according to Harvard Health. The Meditation and Wellness Club at UAA offers group mediation, yoga and discussion about wellness.

“We focus on creating a safe space for everyone to come just as they are with no obligations or expectations,” according to their website.

The Meditation and Wellness Club meet regularly every Wednesday in the Fine Arts Building, room 116. There is no requirement to bring a yoga mat or towel.

There are also options at UAA for professional health services that will allow students to access services for mind as well as body.

Counseling and health services are also available at UAA. Services are available at the Student Health and Counseling Center. They provide counseling, health education, medications and outreach screenings. 

Beyond all that UAA has to offer, there is always the option of taking the time to enjoy personal hobbies. Joseph Insinnia, a second year accounting major, explains why playing poker is a great tool for stress dissolving.

Joseph Insinnia enjoys poker with some friends. Photo courtesy of Joseph Insinnia.

“Not having responsibilities, being with my friends and forgetting about worries for a short period of time was very relaxing,” Insinnia said.

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