As mid-term approaches, students are often stressed with upcoming exams, papers, projects, team presentations and the like. I remember the feeling well and the thought of multiple assignments due all at once was simply overwhelming. What I also remember were “random acts of stress relief” that were welcomed respites from otherwise intense, despair-ridden feelings that simply helped get me through the day.
This relief came in some of the most unintended forms: A classmate invited me for hot chocolate; a faculty member brought in a fitness trainer to help us with stress relief exercises; the cafeteria stayed open later so that when pulling an all-nighter, coffee and goodies were available. But more than that was a kind word of reassurance from faculty and staff that offered assistance, guidance and confidence, which allowed me to navigate the most stressful times.
I suggest to all of us at GCC, now is the time to pay it forward with these and any other great ideas to give our students the extra nudge to the finish line. Stopping a student on the sidewalk and simply asking how they are doing, or walking through computer commons or the Library and checking in with students as they are busily working on the computer. Better yet, when a student is in line at Grounds for Thought, offer to pay for their coffee. These small gestures go a long way to assure students know we care about them and their success.