The College Wellness Guide: A student’s guide to managing mental, physical, and social health on campus

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A brand new guide that helps overwhelmed students manage their mental, physical, and social health, and reach and maintain a healthy balance in their college lives.

Every year, nearly two million students arrive at college campuses, ready to embark on the best four years of their lives. Yet the reality is that the current cohort of students is one of the most stressed, anxious, and depressed ever. These stressors have real effects on students’ grades, social life, and physical health. And the stakes are high! Students with the right community and support services have better outcomes, from increased chances of on-time graduation, to greater ability to take on head-start opportunities (like internships) that have deep impact on post-college life.

Several studies in recent years have documented increasing levels of stress, anxiety, and mental illness among college students. A fall 2020 survey of nearly 48,000 college students by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (based at Penn State) reported one-third of surveyed students who sought care from their campus counseling center said their outreach was related to the coronavirus pandemic. A February 2021 survey of college presidents by the American Council for Education reported 73% of the surveyed presidents identified student mental health as a pressing issue in the 2020-21 school year. And, as students began returning to campuses for the 2021-22 school year, an August 5, 2021 story in, reported that many college administrators—in  anticipation of uncertainties related to the pandemic—were “beefing up” their campus health center services and wellness programs.

Created to help students overcome stressors, as well as take care of their overall health, The College Wellness Guide is organized in five units: Student Assessment, Mental Health, Physical Health, Social Health, and Future Health (which discusses how career and financial issues can affect one’s health and wellness).

The first unit, Student Assessment, presents a series of 15-question self-evaluation activities (one for each of the book’s 11 chapters) along with information on scoring them. The activities are designed to help students identify which of the book’s chapters will be of most immediate use for them. Each chapter features: a topic-focused introduction, tips, checklists, prompts for reflections, and suggestions of on- and off-campus services and resources.

Resources in The College Wellness Guide include:

  • Tips for dealing with depression, anxiety, academic stress, test worries, and schoolwork overloads
  • Descriptions of typical campus health and wellness center services, resources, and programs
  • Suggestions for healthy eating and exercise routines
  • Strategies for maintaining social health and connecting with communities
  • Guidance on wellness challenges due to school settings (urban vs rural) and campus size (large vs small)
  • Information on substance abuse, counseling and therapy sources
  • Notes on suicide prevention and counseling and outlines for creating emergency contact/safety plans
  • Checklists for dozens of good sense “to-do”s from staying safe on campus to making a budget.

The Campus Wellness Guide is an innovative new book that provides a mix of information, resources, and self-assessment activities to help students reach and maintain their overall health. The book includes:

  • Information on how to assess your college fit academically and socio-emotionally
  • Self-assessment activities that students can use to ID their specific stressors and ways to alleviate those issues
  • Sections on physical, mental, and social wellness, each with data-backed insights and research to help define the issues and strategies for handling
  • Proactive activities for student use, with reflection prompts to help develop roadmaps toward a healthier status quo
  • Wellness highlights, e.g., information on colleges with exceptional track records in specific wellness issues
  • Resources for national and college-specific help

In addition to the book, this site will connect you to college admission resources, wellness tips, and posts regarding everything from applying to college to navigating the college experience. Search all posts by topic at the top of the page. 

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