Wellness Watchers on Campus
Wellness Watchers on Campus

At UWC Changshu China, we are not alone trying hard to cope with the pressure. Behind us, there is a whole group of lovely people, teachers or peers, who constantly remind us of the importance of wellness and help us to find ways to keep mental and physical wellness.

Content

 

If someone asks if there’s anything common among IB students from all around the world, I believe most of the answers will be “high pressure and lack of sleep”.

 

Studying, social life, sleeping. When all three of them overlap, we always seem to give up our sleeping time. Academic pressure and social pressure woven together already create huge mental stress, while less and less sleeping time imposes another heavier layer of physical stress. Under such extreme pressure, wellness becomes an issue that must be paid attention to. However, the reality is just the opposite—actually most of us often overlook the importance of wellness.

Luckily, at UWC Changshu China, we are not alone trying hard to cope with the pressure. Behind us, there is a whole group of lovely people, teachers or peers, who constantly remind us of the importance of wellness and help us to find ways to keep mental and physical wellness.

  • Our House

11/5 Monday

 

Before check, our peer mentor said in our house group chat, “Remember to bring your pillow to check.”

 

I looked at my roommates, a bit confused, not knowing what was going on. It was only when I brought my pillow to the common room that I realized: Oh...it turned out to be a house activity to reduce stress.  

 

“Girls, bury your face in the pillow. And shout out your pressure!”

3,2,1…Suddenly, the common room was filled with a scream. Looking up, everyone was laughing out loud.

 

It seemed really stupid with fifty some girls screaming together in an all-girl house. However, it indeed turned out to be very effective.

11/23 Friday

 

At Thursday night’s check, I heard that the next day would be Change of Pace Day—suddenly a cheer came out all around the common room.

 

I was a little bit surprised.

 

I turned around and glanced at the people around me.  All of sudden, faces of anxiety turned into faces brimmed with smiles.

 

Our College really cares about us. When DP2s just handed in their EE, when DP1s started to worry about their sleeping and falling hair, when FPs began to complain how they were tortured by countless deadlines, we were given a whole day to adjust ourselves. “Do not study tomorrow. Have a good rest!” Our house mentor told us.

 

Well, then take a good sleep.

 

When I woke up on Friday, it was already noon. I opened my eyes. The warm sunshine lit up every corner of the room. Time suddenly seemed to slow down.

12/3 Monday

 

Last week was the Wellness week. Medical Zhi Xing members and peer mentors brought us a series of activities. Workshops on meditation, depression, and yoga all aimed at raising our awareness of the wellness issue and sharing ideas on how to maintain a healthy life, both mentally and physically.

 

In addition, there’s another interesting activity in the week: Phone Free Weekend. When we first received the email notifying this, my friends around me asked, “Is it suggesting that we can get free phones for a weekend?” Apparently not.

 

In fact, Phone Free Weekend is designed with a hope that everyone can put down our phones in this 48 hours. No doubt, phones have offered us an infinite virtual social platform, but they also have deprived many real-life interactions, and even invisibly led to social pressure in face-to-face interactions. This activity was for the purpose of encouraging us to truly enjoy an experience far away from technology and the internet.

 

FP student Wang Qingyang, a Phone Free Weekend participant, told us, “Having gone through these two days without a phone, I suddenly felt that time is not slipping away so fast, and of course, my efficiency has improved a lot. An interesting point is that although I don’t have my phone, my habit of checking my phone before sleeping still exists, so I can just find the best alternative available—a book. I read several pages and gradually fell asleep. I woke up at nine in the morning the next day (and I didn’t even set an alarm clock), which was definitely impossible in the past. Looking back, it has been more than 7 years during which I never left my phone. I was pretty surprised at seeing that this small change this weekend would bring me so many changes. It’s very thought-provoking.”

 

It’s not an easy task to find a balance among academics, activities and social life. However, when we’re striving for this balance we often overlook the more important and more fundamental issue of wellness. Just as what Wang Qingyang said if we ask ourselves “how long have you not woken up without an alarm clock?” “how long have you not put down everything and just enjoy playing hard?”, I’m afraid that we can hardly know how to answer.

 

Our school counselors are always there in their counseling office, ready to help us when we feel too stressful. Peer mentors try their best to create a relaxing and loving environment. Medical Zhi Xing members brought us a very meaningful Wellness Week. Our teachers often care about us and ask us in class “when did you sleep last night?”; Sometimes when assigning our homework, they attached a sentence to the email with humor, "Of course, if you like, you can finish all the questions in this chapter, but in this case... When can you sleep?”

 

All these people are just like wellness watchers, taking care of our health.

 

Were it not for them, our IB journey would be much harder.