Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students

30Oct/150

Hanging with the Hounds

It's been a while since my last post, so you may want to check out my bio.

There are three guarantees when it comes to being a college student:

  1. you will eat a lot of ramen,
  2. you won't sleep enough, and
  3. you will get stressed out.

Multiple studies have shown that interacting with animals helps reduce the immediate feelings stress felt by people, along with getting their mind off of the things stressing them out.

Students with dog

Koda, the Lab-Rottweiler, helps students relieve stress.

One of the awesome benefits of going to a small school like William Woods is the opportunities available for undergraduate research through the Mentor-Mentee program. This program allows for students to work alongside professors in their field of study to complete a research project of their choice and design. Then, the projects are presented to students, faculty and staff at the end of the year.

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten

Social Work student Sam Harris relaxes with a kitten.

For my Mentor-Mentee project, I got the opportunity to work alongside one of our social work professors, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson. We are studying the effects of recreational activities on the immediate stress levels of students. Our first event was to bring dogs to campus and allow students to sit and play with them for as long as they wanted. To support our project, we enlisted the help of the Central Missouri Humane Society and Puppies with a Purpose to bring dogs and kittens to campus. Puppies with a Purpose is a group that helps to socialize and train dogs to become support animals later in life. Our Mentor-Mentee program is just now starting up, so there will be a few more events coming up helping students reduce their stress!

Students with dogsThe goal of my project is to hopefully bring these amazing stress reducers back to campus on a regular basis to help students relax.

Keep an eye out for more of my posts as I showcase the different events and cool projects put on by the Social Work department here at William Woods!

-Ryan

21Jan/150

Keep On Keeping On

Today has been a full day of activities, classes, and practice, and it's not over yet! I woke up this morning to my cell phone playing the song "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran at 7 am, letting me know that it was time for the day to begin! I rolled out of bed fully aware of the days obligations consisting of class at 8 am, 9 am, noon, and 1 pm, my University Ambassador responsibilities at 2 pm, and then practice from 3 pm to 6 pm. It is on days like this that we find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of commitments we must follow through with. Dealing with stress is an important part of learning to function in the adult world. Here are some tips and tricks that I find useful on those days when I feel overwhelmed.

1. Take things one step at a time! - when you have a lot to accomplish, you must focus on one task at a time and do your best at that very moment. It is easy to let your focus slip onto panicking about how much you have to do. Instead, focus on what you are currently getting done.

2. Focus on the here and now. - if you have many responsibilities to take care of, they can distract you from the here and now. Stay focused and use those thoughts and energy for later projects to keep your motivation up and your motor running.

3. Feel fortunate to have so many opportunities! - it's easy to get down and have a negative attitude about everything that you have to do. You have the opportunity to become better in many different aspects of life! Be the positive light shining down on the situation. Attitude is everything. Keep a smile on your face. It will stimulate creativity and affect those around you in a positive way.

and finally...

4. Plan some down time. - we are only able to stay focused and on task for so long. It is okay, even healthy, to schedule 20 minutes of down time to grab some coffee from the Owl's Nest and relax for a few minutes! Allowing yourself to decompress for a bit can help spur you on to a victorious day!