How students can add happiness into their lives

Students, staff and faculty will be able to learn tips on how to infuse happiness into everyday campus life

On Feb. 2, an email was sent to all North Dakota State University students and staff addressing happiness during this season. The email was sent by NDSU’s Mental Health Working Group of the President’s Council for Campus Well-being. 

The Mental Health Working Group of the President’s Council for Campus Well-being, or PCCW, is an NDSU workgroup consisting of 62 members made up of students, faculty, staff and community partners. The members of this group are selected to represent different programs from NDSU. The Mental health group of the PCCW works to provide well-being and happiness on campus. 

Throughout the next six weeks, the PCCW will be sharing emails to promote tips for students to find happiness through this season. These tips are based on a Time Magazine article titled, “6 Ways to Find Joy During This Dreary Winter, According to a Happiness Expert.” This article was sent to students to promote health and well-being on campus. 

The article is prevalent during this time by addressing how Covid-19 and winter can play a role in a person’s mental health. According to the CDC, in June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults reported having been struggling with mental health or substance use. Emily Frazier, assistant dean of students and a member of the PCCW, said “This is often a time of year where people feel a little bit more in a slump.” 

Not only are students facing the effects of Covid-19 this semester, but they are also facing a brutal winter. North Dakota is no stranger to below zero temperatures and this season has been no different. This cold weather can affect students’ motivation and eagerness to go on campus and get out of their rooms. 

These factors can have an impact on students’ mental health which then affects the students’ schoolwork. Mental health is an important asset in students’ motivation and passion for their classes, such as attending class, doing homework, meeting with friends, etc.

The emails sent by the Mental Health Working Group of the President’s Council for Campus Well-being will provide tips for students to increase their happiness. Some of these tips include reading a book, spending time in the kitchen or changing their perspective. “If even one thing resonates with a student or a faculty member or a staff member, it can hopefully make a difference in their perspective,” Frazier said. 

“This will give people the nudge that maybe they’re needing to either reconnect with something that used to bring them some happiness or find something new that might stoke some new happiness for them.”

Through Covid-19 and this winter, many students are missing personal connections. Because of the pandemic, it has been harder for students to meet new people. Students are encouraged to still strive to make these connections and initiate conversation throughout campus to help spread happiness on campus. 

The campus also has many resources for students to help them during this difficult time. NDSU’s Counseling Center can help students face concerns about mental health. Located in Ceres Hall, this free resource can help students deal with any personal or academic concerns. 

The Mental Health Working Group of the PCCW is looking to plan other events and activities to encourage people to get out and meet new people on campus. 

“We can’t do all of the things we were doing before that maybe brought happiness to our lives, but we can still find ways to do little things in our day-to-day life to hopefully have those moments that are brighter than some of us are experiencing right now,” Frazier said. 

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