On Sept. 8 at 3 p.m., Kean students attended the Back 2 Basics event at the Miron Student Center Patio.
This event was hosted by Cougars Connections Center of Social Work (CCCSW), an organization that focuses on the well-being of students and their daily lives. Director of CCCSW, Erika Charles planned this event to let students know that they'll always have support.
“This is our second year doing this, and the turnout [last year] was around 200 students," said Charles. “This year's turnout far exceeded my expectations in reaching students and bringing awareness to all the supportive services on campus and ensuring the students' persistence to graduation. Nearly 400 students participated in our Back to Basics event."
With students back on campus after the peak of COVID, it is important for students to have resources on campus. When it comes to the Kean community, CCCSW prioritizes in finding ways for students to take care of their physical and mental health.
"It’s important to showcase the services post a national health crisis. It’s important for students to know where they can go at Kean University when they need help and support because asking for help can be difficult or stigmatizing. We want students to have a sense of belonging here on campus," said Charles.
This year's event focused on self-care and mental health. Plenty of tables were set up to promote student wellbeing. One table had students take a card with an affirmation that stood out or resonated with them. Some tables gave away candy and tote bags while other gave students a chance to write something positive on a heart.
"It’s really important to understand that self-care is very personal and range from student to student. However, some activities that can help are spending time with family and friends, joining clubs or athletic organizations, creative arts, exercise, dancing, listening to music, and writing. It’s important that students find self care activities that bring them a sense of fulfillment and interconnectedness to oneself,” Charles said.
As students enjoyed the music, food, and giveaways, some shared a little bit about their first week back and what brought them out to this event. Kelisha Chambers, an exercise science major, shared how her first week back was going.
“It was tiring. I don’t think I have any favorite classes so far, but the next half of the semester I’m taking yoga so I’m excited about that,” Chambers said.
Communications Major Amaya Edwards enthusiastically shared how she was spending her last semester.
“It’s my last semester here. It’s really cool that there’s a lot of new events happening on campus. I’ve been having a great time,” said Edwards.
Many students were excited for the semester and events to come. However, some students were having busy and eventful first weeks.
“It’s been pretty hectic,” Biology Health Professions Major Shanice Roberts said. “My favorite classes so far though are probably all my biology courses like Neuroscience.”
Caytie Banzon, a marketing major, also had an exciting week. Despite the chaos, Banzon was happy to have attended to Back 2 Basics event.
“This week was very eventful and exciting, honestly I came out to this event for the free stuff, especially the food," said Banzon.
The event concluded around 4 p.m. and students left with various prizes and more knowledge about the importance of self-care and wellbeing.