College life tends to be stressful, and finding time to destress can be even more stressful. Boise State University offers students a place to reflect on campus.
This place is known as the Student Relaxation Room, which was created by the Office of the Dean of Students to provide a safe haven for those who need time to be alone.
Associate Dean of Students Lauren Oe was one of the main creators of the room in late 2018.
“So one thing we were wondering is … how do we maybe provide that same service on this side of campus,” Oe said. “And so that is how we decided to create that space we had the room available.”
The relaxation room has a counterpart in the NORCO building at University Health Services called the Oasis Room. However, what makes the relaxation room so important is that it’s for students only, while the Oasis room can be accessed by both students and faculty.
When I started my junior year at Boise State, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of stress I was going to experience. I came into the semester a full-time student working two jobs. It felt like I didn’t have time to slow down. I missed my partner and my family, and on top of that, COVID was putting a damper on my mood. I often found myself feeling sad and falling behind in my classes.
Even though I had a pretty good support system, I felt like I couldn’t figure out how to make time for myself and time to relax. I think that’s why I made the decision to take a crack at the relaxation room. I mean, what did I have to lose? If anything I could spend a few minutes by myself and take a nap in the massage chair.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered the room. As soon as I stepped in, I immediately felt a sense of calm wash over me. It was nice to have a place to completely check out for a while. I didn’t feel the pressure to do anything, and that felt like bliss.
The resources supplied just added to the environment. The office provides coloring books, a massage chair, aromatherapy, a yoga mat, sound machine and a few other resources.
In my 30 minutes with the room, I put the massage chair, the coloring book and the sound machine to use. These resources made me feel at peace, and I’m glad to know that there is a place at Boise State created just for students to center themselves.
Aside from the relaxation room, the Office of the Dean of Students has many resources that they use to support students including student conduct, academic integrity and student outreach and assistance.
Academic Integrity Program Director Sarah Wilson works to direct students to resources that can help them in their academic growth.
“All of us refer our students for different services that we think could help support them as people because until we are supported as people we can’t be successful learners,” Wilson said. “So, sometimes we’ll refer students to the relaxation room as a way to say, ‘don’t forget to take care of yourself.’”
“It’s a place to just exist and so kind of welcoming it back onto campus as it reopens. And then I think future growth is just really thinking about how we can support students to take that time and space,” Oe said.