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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Spring Fest, 2023. Credit: Nikolas Liepins/Ethography

Trees Together, Transition Together

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The past two years have been challenging and unlike anything we have experienced before. None of us were prepared to shelter in place in 2020, attempt to return to a new normal lifestyle in 2021, then once again alter our lives because of a new COVID-19 variant in 2022. We have felt overwhelmed by the isolation, loneliness, and mandates that have restricted our movement and interactions with others. Many of us have endured unexpected illness, grief, missed opportunities, and economic challenges during this time. Simultaneously, we witnessed and may have been re-traumatized by the racial reckoning, hate crimes, polarization, and social injustices, which were not new but now placed in the spotlight, impacting our communities.

Next Normal

Imagining a “next normal” seems daunting, if not exhausting. While we will be entering a new way of being at Stanford, let us take time to acknowledge all that we have been through. Let us learn to be patient with one another and sensitive to widespread grief and loss and the longing for safety and security in these uncertain times. 

Exhale, reflect, and let us find the support that we need to be our best selves as we move through spring quarter together. Reconnect with others and lend a listening ear to those who have gone through similar experiences or may need a little support.

Whether this is the first time you step foot on the Farm or are returning to a campus that feels familiar, yet different at the same time, we hope this website will offer resources and tips to support your transition. The way you move through this time will not look the same as your classmates, yet we can learn from each other and find the support we need to move through the process. We will work together to acknowledge our communities, your concerns and adapt to changes that arise, with the hope that you will find security and belonging here at Stanford. 

Convocatio. Credit: Andrew Brodhead

Acknowledge and Adapt 

Being able to stay present, listen, and share your feelings with others as you anticipate what might come next can help alleviate fear that may arise due to changing environments. Try to sit in this uncomfortable place and be present to learn new skills to help you move on to a new beginning. Acknowledge what you are feeling and remember to take time to care for yourself when it becomes overwhelming.

We are Trees Together and we invite you to transition with us.

Tile image featuring  2/2002 Late winter's evening light cast its shadows on the arches on the Main Quad Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Coping with Loneliness

Restrictions during the pandemic prevented us from fulfilling the basic human need to connect with others. This lack of connection with others and self may have led you to experience feelings of loneliness. 

Explore what we can do when these feelings arise and learn about resources available to help create new and strong connections.

Tile image featuring  A cyclist rides against a backdrop of fall colors. bicycle, helmet, trees. Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero

Living with Disappointment, Grief, Loss, and Trauma

The pandemic has upended our lives in unpredictable ways. Some of us have had to face great disappointment of milestones and celebrations reimagined, postponed, or even cancelled. 

Many of us have suffered grief and loss over loved ones, family and friends, or possibly great sadness of the passing of those we have never met, but who were meaningful to our lives.

As we each hold unique histories, customs, and lived experiences- our responses and the cumulative impact of uncertainty, death, and loss will impact each of us differently.

Find ways to heal your soul and nourish your heart as you move through these feelings.


TIle image featuring Wallenberg Hall on a rainy day with an individual walking past out front and carrying an umbrella. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead

Navigating COVID-19 Quarantine and Self-Isolation

Remember that no one can totally control COVID. It’s likely that someone you know (or even you) may contract COVID-19, particularly with the highly transmissible Delta variants.

Let’s work together to keep our numbers low and support those who may be asked to isolate if they are COVID-19 positive or quarantine if they were vaccinated and a high-risk close contact. Let's also keep in mind and respect those who are not able to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to religious or medical exemptions.

The campus will continue to care for those who are asked to temporarily relocate. Transportation, meals, linens, and other support services will also be provided.

Stay updated by following the COVID-19 Guidance for Students website.

Discover Connections and Community

It is natural to fear what may lie ahead. The more that we are able to share what we are going through and better understand our emotions, the more that we will be able to accept changes that lie ahead, release our feelings, and stay open to what’s next on our journey. Connect with others and find communities that will support you on your journey.

Tile image featuring a number of students at a football game at the stadium all in cardinal swag and holding a flag with the Stanford block "S" word mark on it. Photo credit: Unknown

Find Belonging with Our Communities

Feeling a sense of belonging is a hugely important part of well-being, allowing us to be our authentic selves in a community that feels like home. Sometimes it is easier to take that step toward community with others who may be experiencing many of the same feelings of disconnection.

You may find connection with others through your house, our Community Centers, a student group, or a research lab. There are always communities open and ready to embrace you as one of their own and enrich your experience, while helping you find your voice, at Stanford.

Tile image featuring  Starting from the left: Ayman Babikir, Kirsten Couchman, Sam Roach, Trace Guzman, Maya Caulfield and Dani Lyle. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead

Socializing Safely

You have missed out on months of connecting with your family and friends and want to make up for lost time. While you are encouraged to do so, follow the guidance on face coverings and don’t forget to take precautions whether your gathering is virtual or in person. Look out for those around you, and hold each other accountable as we all strive to come together in safe ways.

Below are some resources to help you plan for gatherings that follow COVID-19 protocol, identify ways to socialize and party safely, and determine how to hold yourself and others accountable. Whether you're hosting an event, building your sexual citizenship, or just want to know what's socially available to you, these resources can help guide your decision.

Services to Support Your Transition

The pandemic may have brought up new concerns or forced trauma from the past to resurface. You do not have to deal with these situations alone. We are here to support you through your transition, while acknowledging and honoring the space you are currently in and all that you hold.

 The scene in White Memorial Plaza on the first day of New Student Orientation for the Class of 2025 and new transfer students

Supporting Your Well-Being

Whether you want to explore your well-being with a Well-Being Coach, or you’re seeking therapy for the first time, we have many resources in our community to support your mental health and well-being while at Stanford.

You don't have to experience what you are going through alone. Remember, many of us are struggling right now, it is okay to not be okay, and you’re a part of a community that takes care of each other.

Tile image featuring 09/14/2010 Resident Assistant (RA) Alex Carney carries the Soto dorm flag as he leads freshmen Joel Chapman and Rachael Coleman back to the dorm after Convocation. Credit Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Disabilities & Accommodations

Disabilities are not always visible or permanent. You may have found that the transition to online learning and quick adjustment due to the pandemic may have affected your physical and mental ability to perform your best. 

The Office of Accessible Education can assist you if you are experiencing limitations because of an impairment.

Students walking down Lasuen Mall

Feeling Safe and Secure

As you begin to receive more social invitations and leave your residence more, create any physical boundaries you need to feel comfortable in the spaces you exist in. Your emotional and physical safety on campus are important.

If you experienced conduct or an incident that targets people on the basis of protected characteristics, learn about the process for submitting a report at

Fill Your Well-Being Toolbox

While uncertainty may be the only thing that feels certain these days, we can learn ways to build our capacity to encounter and recover from challenges and stressors. We can take steps to fill our toolbox with skills to navigate challenging times, improve our relationships, and enhance our health and well-being.

Tile image featuring  11/3/2011 Stanford undergraduate Elizabeth Nelson Woodson works through an exercise in an open rehearsal at the Cantor Arts Center as other dancers look on. In conjunction with the exhibition Rodin and America, Stanford's Dance Division offered "Rodin and the Dancing Body," a fall course for Stanford students to explore the intersection between Rodin and dance. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Mindfulness & Self-Compassion

The pressure to perform at the top of our game during a pandemic is unprecedented, and unrealistic. How could we possibly move forward when it can feel as if all that surrounds us is holding us back?

Discover ways to quiet your mind and stay in the present. Learn how to get in touch with what you are experiencing in the moment while being kind and gentle to yourself.

TIle image featuring  Unknown student in the middel of a Zoom call in the engineering quad. Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead

Building Your Resilience

Connection, comfort, agency, and safety are fundamental human needs. While we may have felt like we were languishing over the past year, be gentle on yourself, this is our time to start recovering.

Find ways to connect with others and find purpose that will allow you to flourish. Take time to engage in activities you enjoy and build social connections to enhance your experience while at Stanford. Discover ways to manage your stress and build resilience. Try out Well-Being Coaching, build your self-care menu, or watch some short videos made by your CAPS therapists. 

TIle image featuring  2/26/2013 The tulip magnolia trees behind Building 530 in full bloom. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Mental Health Resources

We know that you will experience new and unexpected challenges during your time at Stanford. You may have found it difficult to focus on your well-being over the past year, as it has been a time of unexpected change which has often resulted in stress, loss, and disconnection. Often it can help to talk to someone about what you are going through, but who do you reach out to? 

Tile image featuring  6/21/2013 On the first day of summer, junior Chaz Curet takes a break to read in the sun. The English major found a comfortable spot in the SEQ to read from 'Our Story Begins,' a collection of short stories by Stanford professor Tobias Wolff. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News

Academic Courses

Learn about and practice tools to support diverse aspects of your mental, emotional, physical, relational, financial and spiritual well-being while earning academic units. Choose from a wide selection of courses each quarter. Search under the LEAD, LIFE, WELLNESS, PE, OUTDOOR, and EMED prefixes.

  • Leadership, Social Change & Flourishing Courses (LEAD) - LEAD catalyzes students’ development into leaders and changemakers who inspire a world of inner and outer flourishing for all. Courses are rooted in a commitment to deep inner work that supports wellbeing, insight, and wisdom and, from that basis, radiates outward to shape and make more just the systems that create and sustain our societies. Search for LEAD.
  • LifeWorks courses - LifeWorks fosters the growth of “whole students,” cultivating their ability to live boldly, reflectively, and responsibly. Students gain a strong sense of personal and collective identity, and deepen those capacities--including courage, resilience, and compassion--that will help them contribute to an increasingly interdependent world. Search for LIFE.
  • WellnessEd courses - WellnessEd inspires a healthier, more vibrant university by teaching effective wellness theories and practices that empower students to positively transform their lives and their communities. Search for WELLNESS.
QUOM, 2023. Credit: Micaela Go