Times have changed; We are living during a global pandemic and life as we knew it no longer exists. Most of us have been on lockdown in our homes for at least two months and all of our hopes, dreams, and plans are at the least interrupted, and some are put on hold for now. However, we are strong and we know that life must go on so we are learning how to do things differently. This year, CandleX’s annual workshop with Elite Scholars of China was moved online using GoToMeeting.
Moving from China to the United States to further one’s education is exciting, yet can be scary too! On April 26th, 2020 CandleX’s mental health consultant, Melena Slaven, presented to a group of students who are planning to go to some of the top universities in the US. Many have already been accepted and are counting down the days of their departure (watching and waiting for flights to open)! While most of them have visited the US they realize that living there long-term has new challenges.
Melena Slaven, M.A., CRC, NCC
The workshop was given to prepare the students for their life abroad. We know they have such questions as: How do I cope with stress in college? How do I care for my emotional well-being in a new place? What if my roommate talks about suicide? What mental health issues commonly affect college students? What are the cultural differences between Chinese and Americans?
Students were given information and tools to use in their everyday life. Topics that were covered included culture shock, peer pressure, signs of depression and suicide, self-care, seeking help, and making friends. Students were encouraged to build a social network as soon as possible after their arrival. Students were shown how to use the Meetup app as a way to make friends easily and were encouraged to download the increasingly popular Headspace app that is used for guided meditation.
We collected the feedback from the participants to assess our workshop’s outcomes and benefits. Students described the workshop as: helpful and straightforward. 100% of the respondents said that they would recommend the workshop to a friend. 100% of the respondents stated that the workshop gave them ideas on how to take care of themselves. And, 100% of the respondents said they now understand depression better after the workshop. This is the fifth year CandleX has collaborated with ESC and every year we make changes to the workshop to best meet the students’ wants and needs. Good luck to this year’s participants. CandleX is wishing you success and all the best in your future endeavors.