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Bridge Program holds Wellbeing Week for students
Students in the Achievement Academy Bridge Program (AABP) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently took part in a dedicated Wellbeing Week, designed to prioritize their mental and physical health as they enter the second part of the semester.
Throughout the week, the theme of wellbeing was woven into the courses, and instructors minimized out-of-class assignments so that students could feel less pressure during this short period.
“As a student, wellbeing is really important to help us to stay calm and ready to study. Furthermore, as a first-year student, it is really handy to adapt to the new circumstances and the difference between school and university,” said Kinan Khaskieh, an AABP student and a future computer science major.
A highlight of the week was a workshop led by guest speaker and clinical psychologist, Farid Elazar. Entitled “What came first? Why I can, or why I can’t?,” the workshop offered useful tips to help boost students’ confidence and positive thinking. Participating student Khaskieh said, “I learned an important piece of advice which is to maintain a healthy and clear mind in all situations and to relieve stress under pressure; also, to focus my brain power where it is supposed to be.”
Three AABP students helped Elazar lead the workshop by guiding their peers through techniques such as cognitive restructuring, role playing and mindfulness. Aylara Pastushenko, an AABP student and future psychology major, worked with a panel in advance of the workshop in guiding her peers through a role-playing technique. “Participation in the workshop with Mr. Elazar was really exciting! I found it very useful in terms of using the given techniques in actual and university life,” she said.
The Achievement Academy’s weekly live online show, Bridge News Network (BNN), also echoed the wellbeing theme. Students were introduced to Husam Abdelkhaleq from AUS University Counseling Services, who discussed how to seek counseling and be comfortable with it, and the ways to achieve wellbeing.
Speaking about the project and its impact, Jessica March, Achievement Academy Director, said: “Health and wellbeing should be one of the core priorities in everyone’s life on a daily basis. By dedicating a week to wellbeing, we aimed to bring this issue to the fore, to embrace the challenges and proactively seek strategies and techniques to improve our wellbeing. The guest speakers offered some valuable resources and advice in the sessions they delivered.”
The Achievement Academy Bridge Program helps new AUS students improve their English language skills and prepare for university success, while enjoying everything AUS student life has to offer. Students who matriculate from the program go on to their studies in one of the 28 undergraduate majors offered at AUS.
For more information about the Bridge Program, visit www.aus.edu/achievement-academy/bridge-program.