In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, Southern’s Counseling Services is hosting a new event titled, “Connection Week.”
The event, which runs Feb. 8 through Feb. 11, will have different themed days. Tiffany Bartell, Counseling Services coordinator, is in charge of the event and will speak for two seminars this week.
“Connection Week was born out of the feedback we’ve been getting from students this semester and last semester,” Bartell said. “[Students have] been feeling increasingly lonely — some of our freshmen are having a hard time making new friends coming to campus.”
To address this issue, Bartell said Counseling Services wanted to create an event that connected people through the celebration of both friendships and romantic relationships.
“We picked this particular slice of time because it’s the week before Valentine’s Day,” Bartell said. “And on Valentine’s Day, we’re thinking of connecting romantically. [Connection Week] has a little bit of a different emphasis, but it’s a great lead-in for Valentine’s Day weekend.”
The first part of the event occurred Monday. It was titled “Take Two” and involved using “Happy Connection Week” cards for students to write notes and give them to friends, along with coaching cards which featured tips on coping with loneliness.
Tuesday was focused on “Celebrating Connection” and featured a special 7:30 a.m. morning meditation where Tiffany Bartell spoke about connecting in a disconnected world. Additionally, Tuesday’s events were accompanied by an Instagram challenge to post about a significant friend, and the day concluded with an 8 p.m. dorm worship on the science of loneliness.
Wednesday will focus on “Disconnect to Connect,” a challenge aimed at spending one hour talking to someone with phones turned off, and then posting about the experience on Instagram.
The week-long event will conclude Thursday with “Self-Love”, where students can post on Instagram about a self-care activity they participate in.
“I hope that there’ll be a couple of takeaways; one would be how incredibly essential connection is to your mental health,” Bartell said. “You know, we talk about exercise, we talk about sleep, we talk about eating right, positive thinking — but we need each other, we need to connect…”
Bartell said it can be difficult for new students to connect but that there are opportunities for students to do so like joining clubs and LifeGroups.
To participate in the online challenges, follow Counseling Services on Instagram at @saucounseling for more information.