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Learning to Thrive in 2021: Program Helps Students Readjust to Campus Life

campus in autumn

Dickinson Thrives connects through conversation, movement and the arts

This fall marks the first time that Dickinson juniors and seniors have lived on a fully populated campus since March 2020. For the class of 2024, it’s the second semester on campus and the first with all four class years in residence. And for first-years, it’s all brand-new. It’s a joyful time. It’s also, after more than a year of remote and hybrid learning, a big readjustment. And it’s happening, naturally, in the context of all of the big life questions, stressors and celebrations that define college life.

Dickinson is here to help.

The Dickinson Thrives series provides space for students to learn and practice self-care skills and to explore identities and meaning-making with fellow students. The series is developed and presented jointly by Dickinson’s Asbell Center for Jewish Life, Office for LGBTQ Services and Wellness Center. “Students are looking for low-impact ways to build community, make friends and build healthy habits,” says Rabbi Marley Weiner, director of the Asbell Center or Jewish Life. “We’ve developed this series to provide guidance and help in all of those areas.”

The series is held several times a month, and each month’s programs focus on a specific theme. Participants explore that theme through artistic expression, movement and conversation. The sessions feature guest appearances by students, faculty and staff members who share relevant life lessons and skills.

The new series builds on last year’s popular Dickinson Copes series, which similarly brought students, faculty and staff together each week and included a brief talk from a faculty or staff member about how the pandemic has reshaped their lives and the strategies they use to promote calmness, resilience and connection. That series, necessarily, was held online. Dickinson Thrives takes that self-exploration and personal growth work further, and into the in-person sphere.

During September—which focused on the concept of community—students painted rocks with uplifting messages and drawings and displayed the rocks across campus as a means to spread a little kindness. The theme for October is self-expression, and November’s sessions will focus on what it means to rest. Students interested in taking part do not need to preregister.

Check the events page for Dickinson Thrives events. Upcoming sessions include a dance workshop (Oct. 12), poetry-writing session (Oct. 26), drum circle (Nov. 2) and yoga session (Nov. 9). 

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Published October 14, 2021

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