The Merciad

Stress is combated through community

Rebecca Dunphy, Staff writer

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Stressed? Overwhelmed? Don’t know where to turn? Look no further than “How to Survive College with Ashlee” — a six-week group counseling series running from March 21 to April 25.

Ashlee Harris is a group leader and master’s-level intern at the Cohen Health & Counseling Center.

“This is a very busy time for students with exams and projects building up, interpersonal relationships forming and separating, scheduling and so on. The list can go on for a while,” Harris said. “The spring semester can bring you another ‘s’ word, stress. So to try and alleviate some stress that college students go through, the Counseling Center figured it is a great time to assist students to help them finish the semester strong by having groups held each spring semester.”

Having worked with Residence Life and Housing at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Harris has extensive knowledge in what it takes to be a college student. She has given numerous presentations on what is needed for success in the classroom, socially and beyond, so students can feel as prepared as possible upon graduation.

She utilized these skills and knowledge to develop six different events, each with changing topics and activities.

“I customized each week to tailor it to things that seem to be prevalent struggle areas for college students,” Harris said. “It is intended to provide skills to help those that may have a more difficult time adjusting to college or those who may want to brush up on a skill.”

The series kicked off with “The Journey Begins” on March 21, where students met to destress and have fun. Students were also taught tools for success at this initial meeting.

The following week was “Pizza and Procrastination” on March 28, an event that gave students the opportunity to learn study tips, discover different learning styles and enjoy deep-dish pizza.
Yet to come are “Cake and Communication,” “Better Sleep, Better Pizza, Papa Johns” and the final event, “That’s All She Wrote,” to wrap up the semester.

All events are held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Ryan Hall third-floor conference room. Though not all students have key card access, Harris will be in the front lobby, along with RAs who will be able to escort students.

With no sign-up necessary, this is an open group that all students are encouraged to attend.

“This group benefits the college student that is struggling getting out of their comfort zone, the college student that may toss and turn because they overthink, the college student that feels the pressure to have it all figured out, the college student who may say ‘I’ll get to it later’ or the college student that may not know where to start,” Harris said. “This is to help the students expand their skill base and to take that step into growing into the person that they want to be. Holistically, the students will benefit by learning, growing and engaging.”

For more information, email Harris at aharris@mercyhurst.edu.

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Stress is combated through community