A cartoon from outside the U of O's wellness lounge encouraging students to "take care of yourselves"
Being a student is hard. Photo: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Students have a number of resources available to them on campus

Fall in Ottawa brings beautiful sceneries, cozy sweaters, and exciting ventures. Unfortunately for students, autumn also means another thing: midterm season.

Having to balance homework, exams, assignments, work, a social life, and good mental health can be tricky. With all that on your plate, it’s rather easy to get burnt out. Luckily, the University of Ottawa carries out many events that can help students cope with overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety. 

The website is the University’s main source of information when it comes to activities relating to well-being.

Whether it’s a calming session on light counselling or an afternoon playing with puppies, the website lays out many activities that are sure to take away from the difficulties of being a student, and be a welcome distraction in students’ busy schedules.

The website describes activities such as mindful walks every Thursday from 1–2 p.m., where groups of people get together to enjoy the views and each other’s company. There are even new VR games that can be booked at any time.

There is also a series of workshops that help build more practical skills. Whether you need help planning out healthy meals, crafting around hemp seeds, working out in comforting environments, or just a space to talk about your problems, the U of O offers wellness services for everyone.

Upon arriving at the Wellness Lounge, in the Jock Turcot University Centre room 203, you’re immediately greeted by friendly volunteers who point you in the direction of your choosing. The wellness lounge has a comforting space that’s accessible and enjoyable for all.

The Fulcrum spoke with Kinsella O’hara, a second-year theatre studies student, about their experience in the Wellness Lounge. “[It’s] super friendly. I went last year just before my spring exams and it was a very pleasant space to relax and have a quiet environment to hang out with some friends during this stressful time, it was much appreciated.” 

In terms of the new Student Health and Wellness Centre, located in Minto Sports Complex room N203, there is an air of tranquillity as you enter the waiting room. Volunteers will help you find the information you’re looking for, and create a safe space to express your emotions. 

A popular activity among students to destress is the puppy therapy offered every Thursday from 3–4 p.m. Any student from the university can register for free to play with dogs. The best part about the website is that registering for an activity is super simple.

There is an option which allows you to talk to a volunteer via text message directly from the main page on the site. We chatted with “Dani,” an otherwise anonymous volunteer at the centre, who spoke about all the fun activities happening in the upcoming weeks.

“Within the next two weeks, we will be running a wellness cafe and a crafting connections workshop on the 19th, a glow bingo workshop on the 20th, a three-day virtual SKY retreat in which participants meet every afternoon to learn about wellness techniques from the 21st to 23rd, and art therapy on the 24th. There’s a lot of events going on.”

These are just some of the scheduled activities happening in October.

Midterm season can be a challenging time, and whether you need some time to destress and distract yourself for a few hours, or you feel want to talk to someone — peers or professionals — about your mental health, the Wellness Lounges and the Student Health and Wellness Centre are there to help students during this stressful time.