More than just a balancing act between work and life, Occupational Wellbeing is also about finding purpose and fulfillment in what we do. When we know we’re making a difference, we’re achieving it.
Nobody said college was easy. Particularly here. After all, our unofficial nickname is “Work Forest” and our motto is Pro Humanitate. Nearly three of every four Demon Deacons in the Class of 2014 declared a second major and/or a minor or two. Hundreds of committed volunteers average 30 hours of community service per semester. So discovering what’s most meaningful and rewarding and finding the right mix aren’t necessarily easy.
If you’ve recently feared it was too much, relax for a moment. Your feelings are actually the norm for college students. According to a 2013 survey by the American College Health Association, nearly half of the respondents and 56 percent of women said they felt “overwhelmed” by the magnitude of their various responsibilities at least once in the previous two weeks. Nearly 31 percent reported that stress had negatively impacted their academic performance in the previous 12 months.
So how do you put things into perspective, derive the most benefit from your various works and find your calling or callings?
The Learning Assistance Center can help. The professionals there can help you with time management, note-taking skills and reading speed, just to name a few tools. General academic counseling and group tutoring are available. Call them at x.5929 or drop by 117 Reynolda Hall.
Among the tips they’ll probably throw your way:
- Turn off your phone for half an hour (or an hour) a day.
- Get in a scheduling habit. Block off time for particular tasks.
- Find a good study partner in a class that’s taking a significant amount of your time.
- Pursue a volunteer opportunity through the Office of Service and Social Action, your residence hall, the Office of the Chaplain, or any of several other divisions around campus.
- Pursue a leadership opportunity through the Office of Personal and Career Development.
FACULTY & STAFF
How many things in your life could reasonably count as full-time jobs? Marriage? Parenting? Elder care? Employment? Well, you’ve got at least one.
Finding the appropriate work-life mix is part of the journey to Occupational Wellbeing, and the United States does rank 28th among the 36 most industrialized and advanced nations in this survey of juggling various responsibilities.
Another study said nearly two-thirds of Americans are overstressed.
Researchers have identified 19 major life stressors, and the key is to keep them from piling up. If confronted by three or more of them, you’re in peril of falling into high-risk behaviors such as financial irresponsibility, drinking to excess and others.
Wake Forest is ready to step in and help you manage it whether by encouraging exercise, connecting you with Campus Recreation or facilitating the work of something more comprehensive such as the Employee Assistance Program, which helps faculty and staff overcome obstacles in their lives.
The Professional Development Center is another important resource, but because Occupational Wellbeing transcends work-life balance, the PDC goes beyond making pre-emptive suggestions and helps employees learn what makes them good at their jobs and how to leverage those skills to find new ones.