Identifying and combating stress through the Life Resource Center
Life’s responsibilities may make some people feel as though they are hop scotching from one stressful situation to another. You juggle work. You’re busy getting the kids off to extracurricular activities. And then, at one point, you decided to throw in the pursuit of a college degree into the already overloaded mix. The unrelenting trifecta of demands is sure to exacerbate anxiety levels for some adult learners. So how does a student identify and combat stress before an acute episode becomes a chronic case that ultimately affects academic deadlines, final grades, and in some worst-case scenarios, future enrollment?
“It’s an understatement to say that going back to school is a big commitment,” says Marissa Rodgerson, part of the product marketing staff at Apollo Group/University of Phoenix. According to Rodgerson, who experienced first-hand juggling work and University of Phoenix courses, stress snowballs for some students because they did, in fact, underestimate how to successfully attune their time management skills with the high level of academic demands associated with a college education. For others, emotional challenges, such as depression, financial struggles, or coping with loved ones battling substance abuse, may be the unresolved stressors complicating the successful completion of degrees.
Alleviating stress one LRC service at a time
It is at this juncture in your educational journey that the University of Phoenix Life Resource Center is here to help, says Rodgerson. Formerly known as SWLEP (Student Work Life Enrichment Program), she notes the LRC relaunched in a more visible manner on March 15 so students can more readily locate the center on the eCampus landing page and get help identifying and dealing with stress.
“It is important to University of Phoenix that your educational institution doesn’t just serve as a single purpose of giving you a degree,” says Rodgerson. “It is equally important for [University of Phoenix] to support you while you get that degree and the Life Resource Center offers that support in whichever ways you need help.”
The Life Resource Center (LRC) offers University of Phoenix students access to more than 5,000 complimentary webinars, articles, podcasts and other resources to help students “navigate life’s challenges.” LRC’s holistic service approach also offers students the aid of certified mental health counselors, as well as qualified career and life coaches, as well as a concierge-like component that connects students to local services they need, from pet sitters to daycare, to help students realign their academic priorities.
“We want to take care of the rest of any distracting minutiae in your life so you can focus more clearly on your academic goals,” says Rodgerson, noting that University of Phoenix Senior Vice President of Student Services and Operations Nancy Cervasio recognized the need for such services almost two years ago.
Whether you’re a single mother busy with three kids, a business manager stretched in a gazillion directions, or a student stressed by your finances, the LRC is just a mouse click or phone call away, emphasize Rodgerson. Students may either call or click on LRC’s Live Connect feature to live chat with the center’s Life-Work Consultants. Students can also fill out in-person counseling link within the LRC portal and fill out one’s information, a summary of the issue and a good time for a consultant to contact you to help connect a stressed student with the right counselor.
These general counselors will essentially “triage” your concern to better assess what service(s) may best alleviate your situation. This may include connecting you face-to-face or via telephone to one of the free, professionally trained counselors or life and/or career coaches associated with the University. If a counselor or coach is unavailable face to face via University of Phoenix, the LRC will research and recommend an appropriate counselor within the student’s area, although the University absolves itself of any costs associated with third-party entities, says Rodgerson. Whatever the mode, Rodgerson says the LRC will do its best to provide a service to help students alleviate stress in lieu of building academic skills and personal competencies, such as:
- Financial acumen
- Career counseling (i.e. how to be a better, more effective manager)
- Work a balanced life style
- Balance relationship and family with academic/career goals
- Be a better parent
- How to manage transition: career and/or personal
The LRC also offers self-help tips through the literature available on its portal site to help you manage stress should you recognize that is the primary cause for your sleepless nights or slipping grades. According to one such American Psychological Association article, “Stress Tip Sheet,” ways to manage stress include:
- Understanding how you experience stress
- Learning your own stress signals
- Recognizing how you deal with stress
- Finding healthy ways to manage stress
Lastly, the APA recommends reaching out for support which is where the LRC comes in. Because, as Rodgerson says, the center’s staff is there to help you not only as a student, “but as a human” whose struggles and stresses do not need to go unnoticed.