With midterms around the corner, the freshman flu reaching bubonic proportions, and your “quirky” roommate’s habits evolving from novel to noxious, the CAS Peer Advisors have but one piece of advice for you: RELAX.
AU students are constantly on the move – just ask our shuttle advertisements boasting the incredible amount of internship and community service hours completed every semester. At a school like this, in a city labeled as growing, dynamic and developing, it might seem difficult to justify taking a breather. But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’ll find it much harder to be successful in all areas of your life. Your academics, relationships, and health all rely on bringing that heart rate down to a rest every once in a while.
Now here’s the big secret: even here at AU – where you’re constantly being told to be your best and do your best and work your hardest – there are a ton of resources to help you achieve serenity, too. Your professors, advisors, Dean of Students, and RAs understand just how necessary it really is. That’s right bbs, tranquility is right outside your college writing class. Here’s your guide to R&R at AU:
So many AU staff members are dedicated to helping you get things off your chest. You don’t have to do it all! Here are some awesome people to talk to:
- Your RA – Having roommate issues? Stressed about your residence hall? Your RA does more than just enforce university rules. RAs have been chosen for this role because they want you to have the best experience possible, and are exceptional listeners. This is true for your PA as well!
- The Counseling Center – Sometimes your friend or RA isn’t the right person to talk to. Maybe you’d feel more comfortable talking to someone who has no idea who you are, or maybe you just don’t particularly jive with your RA. And that’s fine. Sometimes, you just need to reach out to a confidential and impartial third party. If that’s the case, the counseling center always welcomes you. Tons of students use the counseling center for just this reason, so you know it’s a good place to turn in a time of need. (PS – the office now has urgent care walk-in appointments! They are available Monday – Friday, 3 – 5 pm.)
- Kay Spiritual Life Center – Kay has two-dozen spiritual communities and chaplains to help you develop your spiritual identity. Just want to drop in? No experience is necessary for the Buddhist Meditation meetings.
Tune In, Drop Out
Take a break from your world (and then go back to it with a fresh new perspective) by engaging with AU’s media services. An important note about the libraries – remember that you get more from your visit than the music or movie. Talking to the staff can lead to awesome recommendations, so don’t be shy to ask for help!
- Music Library – The American University music library is located in the Katzen Arts center and houses over 10,000 CDs, 13,000 LPs, 230 DVDs, and streaming audio databases. Check out their blog here!
- Media Library – Media Services in Bender Library has over 18,000 VHS and DVD titles in its collection as well as an additional 20,000+ streaming titles (search them by visiting the website). You can check some of the videos out of the library, but for those on limited release the library has space for you to watch them in-house. Just remember to come with your laptop, and without food or drink. Check out their blog here!
- Student Media – In need of a creative outlet? Write, edit, photograph, craft playlists, and draw through one of our fantastic student media organizations.
- Intramural Sports – Basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, and more! Enjoy friendly competition on-campus in your favorite sport. Grab your friends and register as a team, or join an existing team as a free-agent.
- AU Outdoors – Take a hike, kayak on the Potomac, or camp in the Shenandoah valley with the AU Outdoors club. Check out their Facebook group for more info.
- Yoga in the Galleries – Every other week, certified Yoga instructor teacher Eva Blutinger leads a class in the Katzen Art Galleries. Make sure to come with your mat and student ID, and leave all that stress at the door!
- Take a walk – We live in truly beautiful area; take advantage of it! Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Connecticut Avenues all lead to a Rome of some sort – walk down Mass (towards the Berks) and turn right on Wisconsin to get to Glover Park and enjoy the fantastic food at Surfside Grill. Or walk down Nebraska until you reach Connecticut for pizza and pong at Comet Ping-Pong, or book talks and espresso at Politics and Prose.
- Work it out – Bender and Cassell Hall gyms offer fitness equipment of all kinds for students to help boost those endorphins and sweat out your stress. And, if you’re like me and are horrified of weight machines and dreadmills, the group fitness classes are an awesome alternative. At $7 a class and $65 for an unlimited semester, it’s the best gym deal you’ll ever get.
Remember: self-care is something you need to take initiative with – other people will help, but no one can do it for you. But there’s no reason to make a chore of it, AU has a bevy of resources on-campus to help you take some needed you-time. Didn’t see your favorite way to chill in my list? Comment with your own!