Nov 13, 2017 | Atlanta, GA
Headaches, insomnia, shortness of breath — these are just a few of the symptoms of stress that you might experience thinking about the end of the semester.
“Stress is a major concern for many students who visit our office,” said Janice Harewood, assistant director for outreach and wellness at the Counseling Center. “Graduate students face a unique set of stressors, which can be difficult to deal with, including uncertainty about career prospects, research, work-life balance, and for some, research advisors. Stress is a normal life experience, but overwhelming stress or stress which is not managed well is a real problem.”
Harewood recommends a holistic approach to stress management, which can vary from person to person and might include exercise to relieve physical tension, seeking social support, counseling, or proper self-care. On campus, you can find a variety of these types of resources, which are available to graduate students. Read on to learn about several that might be helpful to you.
The Counseling Center is open to any degree-seeking student and offers counselors who can help you manage stress and anxiety. Students who come into the center for the first time are offered a consultation, which involves a discussion with one of the counselors.
“From there, we help students figure out what their problems might be and what resources we have available to assist them,” Harewood said. “We help students develop strategies to deal with stress, which may or may not involve return visits to our office.”
Initial consultations are available by appointment. However, the Counseling Center is open to walk-ins and has a counselor available to respond to student crises — even when the center is closed. (BTW, calling the Georgia Tech Police Department at 404-894-2500 and asking to speak to the on-call counselor will help you access assistance, too.)
For more information, visit counseling.gatech.edu.
This organization of about 40 members aims to help students find a way to free their minds, relax, and find balance at Georgia Tech, said Jason Tsukahara, president.
“A survey was done with Tech students about what they want in life. There were two main outcomes: they want to be smart, and they want to be happy,” Tsukahara said. “Tech does a great job at training our minds, but mental well-being requires different skills. We’re part of a wider movement to help students be happy, while still pursuing their education.”
Each meeting lasts 60-90 minutes. The instructors, who help empty the mind and teach during the first 20 minutes of class, give new members guided instructions on proper meditation. The remaining time is spent on varying activities including discussions on how meditation has helped others and ways to understand the mind.
For more information, visit orgsync.com/135809/chapter.
Glee Club and Women’s Chorus
The 30-member Glee Club is open to any student, regardless of his or her singing background. Members can participate by walking in during any of the rehearsals on Mondays from 6-8 p.m. The club participates in at least one major show each year in the spring, as well as other singing events that occur throughout the year.
“I absolutely would recommend Glee Club to anyone at Tech who needs to de-stress,” said Joshua Ingersoll, president. “As a club, we try to support one another and help keep each other’s spirits high. We’re a close-knit group of guys, and participating in Glee has helped me remain enthusiastic and energized while I’ve been at Tech.”
Female singers may join the Women’s Chorus, which is also open to anyone interested.
“We want our members to learn how to use their voices and not stress about their singing ability,” said Molly Niemczyk, president. “We participate in musical theory workshops with Pi Epsilon Phi to hone our singing ability and to teach new members how to best put their voices to use.”
Club meetings are held on Tuesday nights for about 90 minutes. The club usually performs three to four times per semester.
For more about Glee Club, visit gleeclub.gatech.edu/index.php. Membership for the Women’s Chorus is closed for this semester, but will open again in the spring. For more information, visit orgsync.com/147210/chapter.
This club is open to anyone interested in joining, but there is a $30 membership fee.
“We have a very open schedule, and anyone who is willing to come and climb is welcome,” said Amy Virasak, president. “Each week we take time to leave Tech and go to Stone Summit, getting away from campus to just climb. It’s a chance to disengage and exercise off campus, and we’re always excited to welcome new members.”
Experienced climbers are available to help introduce new members to the sport. The club meets Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., starting with a 10 to 20-minute meeting, followed by climbing time from 7-10 p.m.
For more information, visit orgsync.com/136057/chapter.
Office of the Ombudsman
Suffering from stress from unsolved academic grievances? The Office of the Ombudsman is available to help.
“The office is open to help any graduate student who needs confidential advice pertaining to their academic careers,” said Leigh Bottomley, faculty and graduate student ombuds. “We offer conflict resolution regarding professional conflicts and concerns with degree progression.”
The ombuds offer informal conflict resolution, giving students a neutral sounding board for any Institute complaint or issue. Also, the ombuds are strictly neutral, and will not take sides in any issue brought before them.
For more information, visit provost.gatech.edu/conflict-resolution.
The Campus Recreation Center
If a little physical activity is what you need to de-stress, the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) is an option for any student taking more than four hours of classes during a semester (as this is part of the student fees you pay).
“The CRC also takes referrals from the Counseling Center through our Healthy Lifestyles for the Mind and Body,” shared Kate O’Neill, assistant communications director for the CRC. “We believe that exercise is an important part in practicing proper self-care, and our collaboration has helped create a roadmap to assist students in managing their physical and emotional well-being.”
Of course, the CRC is home to the gym, pool, and classes. But, the CRC also offers massage sessions lasting 30-60 minutes (cost is $35), or 60-minute personal training sessions (cost starts at $90 for three sessions).
For more information, visit crc.gatech.edu.