COLUMBUS, Ohio—It's the first week of classes at the Columbus College of Art & Design.
- According to the American College Health Association, 3 out of 4 students reported being stressed, with more than 20% of 67,000 students experiencing 6 or more stressful events in one year
- The Columbus College of Art & Design is giving students succulents to plant and care for
- Distribution of the plants is a part of a mindfulness initiative aimed at helping students to be healthy and creative
Freshman Erin Elfrink is slowly easing into college life and trying to making new friends.
While that's been a little nerve-wracking, she says she hasn't felt the pressure of the college life demands yet. After all, it's just welcome week.
"I'm doing pretty good. It's the first week though. I'm just a little bit nervous," said Elfrink.
Officials here, and at some schools across the country, are trying something new to calm their students’ nerves.
They’re giving them plants — succulents—to be potted and cared for.
Josiah Jamison picked up one for a friend.
"In theory if you have another life to take care of, it also reminds you to take care of yourself too,” said Josiah Jamison, student. “So, if you're watering the plant, also water yourself, you know… drink, eat healthy."
Distribution of the plants is a part of a mindfulness initiative aimed at helping students to be healthy and creative.
"I feel like it's very important to take your own time, like ask questions, care for yourself, cause if you don't care for yourself, you will get rundown,” said Elfrink.
Vice President of Student Affairs Chris Mundell knows how important it is as CCAD and other colleges recognize the rise in challenges colleges students now face across the country.
"We know that stress and anxiety and depression are some of the biggest barriers for college students right now. And if we fan allow them to have some tools that can help to alleviate some of those issues, we know that it'll be successful,” said Mundell.
Research from the American College Health Association shows that 3 out of 4 students reported being stressed, with more than 20% of 67,000 students experiencing 6 or more stressful events in one year.
It also showed that stress impacted the academic performance of 33.2% of students—to the point where their grades fell and they dropped out of classes.
But Mundell says if they can educate students now, they believe they'll see positive results later.
"We know that students who are healthier, students who are in balance achieve better in the classroom," said Mundell.
And if they're achieving in the classroom, they can achieve in other areas of their life as they are inspired to grow—just like these plants.