Trees Together, Transition Together
The past year has been challenging and unlike anything we have experienced before. None of us were prepared to shelter in place and modify our lifestyles due to a global pandemic. 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.
Imagining a “new 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 acknowledge all that you have been through. Let us find the support that we need to be our best selves as we begin fall 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.
We are Trees Together and we invite you to transition with us.
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.
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.
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.
Navigating COVID-19 Quarantine and Self-Isolation
Remember that no one can totally control COVID. It’s possible that you or someone you know may contract COVID-19.
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. A group is available for those who may be struggling- a place to hold conversation and participate in activities that may bring positive energy during this time.
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.
Learn more about how the campus is prepared to support those who need to quarantine or isolate.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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. 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, please visit protectedidentityharm.stanford.edu to learn about the process for submitting a report.
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.
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.
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.
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?CAPS: Seeking Mental Health Support at Stanford
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.
• 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.
• Wellness 183: Financial Wellness for a Healthy, Long Life (Fall Quarter) - This course will ground you in the knowledge, skills, and habits you need to identify and achieve your financial goalsBy the end of the quarter, you will have a personalized toolkit to create and refine actionable plans for increasing your financial well-being now and throughout your healthy, long life.
• 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.
• 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.