Light in the darkness
The days are getting shorter and, like the many other hard-working students at the university, I see less and less daylight. We arrive early in the morning when it’s just starting to get light, and we leave in large numbers late at night, when MetaForum closes its doors at eleven o’clock. During the day, we get treated to a view of a dreary November day.
Combined, all of the factors mentioned above form a destructive combination, which can lead to psychological problems. In the meantime, waiting times for the student psychologists are increasing, and students find it difficult addressing the fact that they experience pressure. Fortunately, besides the more formal circuit of student psychologists and study advisors, there are other parties at TU/e where these students, among others, can turn to for help: Studium Generale, TINT, and the Student Sports Center organize activities to promote student wellbeing, during which they connect students witch each other.
Some of these organizations have a broad outreach, such as Studium Generale, whereas others attract fewer students. It also seems like an intricate web of wellbeing activities is being set up, while it would perhaps be more strategic to join forces. That is why a so-called Wellbeing Umbrella is now being worked on. It is based on the idea that an umbrella organization should be set up that concerns itself with student wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, similar to umbrella organizations for, among others, study-, student-, and cultural associations. For me, this group consist of TINT, Studium Generale, SSC, ESSF, Scala, FSE, ESA and Cursor. The advantage of such an umbrella is that these parties can coordinate their efforts and develop a joint vision.
TU/e community app
Here are a few initial ideas with which such an umbrella might concern itself. A TU/e community app, which provides students with an overview of every activity in the area of student wellbeing (more about this Monday on Cursor’s site, ed.). An example of a suitable activity for that app would be courses organized by the Student Sports Center, which will be open during the Christmas holiday, for students who can’t go home during the holiday period. Students could also use the app to indicate that they would like to visit an event with another student, after which they will we partnered with a buddy.
The umbrella organization will also make it possible to work together more often, and to get everyone to move in the same direction. On Wednesday, TINT and student faction Groep-één|ESR will organize an event during which students can enter into a dialogue with each other about the stressors in their lives. This will make many students realize that they don’t have to face their problems alone. The picture I painted at the beginning of this column will probably be familiar to a lot of students at our university.
All in all, I hope that students will find their way to the activities of the Wellbeing Umbrella and that they will slowly start to see light at the end of the tunnel, even during these dark days.