Promoting Positive Mental Health
by Amanda Backal, student leader
Student Open Circles has had a profoundly positive impact on my life and my university experience. It's extremely clear how devoted the instructors are to the wellbeing of students. Especially as someone who struggles with mental health, it has been so helpful and comforting to have someone to bounce thoughts and concerns off and to learn how to reflect on my experiences to evoke positive change in my life. Whether I have something specific weighing on me or I need to take a moment to breathe and relax, I know I will walk away from any Open Circle session with a new perspective and a refreshed mind.
Something I find especially unique about Open Circle is the way in which it emphasizes self-directed reflection, with a perfect balance between guiding students through meditations and activities and encouraging us to draw conclusions from our own thoughts and beliefs. The themes that we cover, from self-compassion and acceptance to gratitude to building healthy relationships are topics that every student could benefit from exploring.
Open Circle has become an integral part of my self-care routine that I would recommend to any student who wants to be their best selves! I am beyond grateful to have such a welcoming and relaxing space to explore my feelings, thoughts, and goals.