With most of our classes happening online, it is difficult to have the university experience most students are used to, and one that first-year students were looking forward to. The University of Toronto has been managing exceptionally well, transferring classes, tests, workshops, events, and other activities online to create a comparable virtual experience.
One of these, the third annual Be Well UTM Fair, took place from September 21 – September 25. The fair provided students with a week of resources and activities and was hosted by the Health and Counselling Centre. The event focused on inspiration, creativity, physical activity, knowledge, and human connection.
Types of Events, Activities, and Workshops
Resource Spotlight (Be Informed): These short thirty-minute sessions provided students with information about the various resources available to them, eligibility, how to access them, and what help they would receive. Resources focused on mental health, Indigenous peoples, drugs, multicultural identity, and provided extensive information on the help available.
Wellness Talk (Be Inspiring): These one-hour talks discussed relevant issues, how they can/will impact us, and provided tips on how to best deal with them. Topics included:
● Juggling Life During COVID-19 by Professor Sanja Hinic-Frlog
● Building Social Connections by Lauren Drouillard
● Cultivating Financial Wellness by Professor Radha Maharaj
● Cannabis and Coping by Professor Karen Woodall
Wellness Workshops (Be Creative): These one-hour workshops provided students with fun and useful activities to do to cultivate wellness during these times. Topics included:
● How to Make Homemade Jam by Kimberly Green
● Writing for Self-Care by Madeline Keogh
● Making Your Own Mini-Zine by Day Milman and Trish Starling
● Simple Meditation Techniques by Professor Norm Farb
● Feeling Stress and Tired? Try Yoga Nidra by Emily Reed
Fitness Classes and Consultation (Be Active): These workouts guided students through different types of exercises that target different areas of the body. This included bodyweight workouts, yogilates (a combination of yoga and pilates), HIIT, and a workout that targeted the glutes and core.
CCR Community Cafe (Be Connected): These short, twenty-minute sessions focused on building social connections and meeting new people.
Students who attended a Resource Spotlight Session and one of the Wellness Talks, Wellness Workshops or Fitness classes received a $10 lunch gift card. Students who attended a Resource Spotlight Session, one Community Cafe session, and one of the Wellness Talks, Wellness Workshops or Fitness classes received a CCR credit.
The Health and Counselling Centre has been offering students numerous resources to cope during these times. These workshops run every week (some may require registration) and are an opportunity for students to connect with each other:
● Mindful Monday: Mindfulness Meditation have students go through a thirty-minute mindfulness meditation class every Monday on Instagram Live
● Together Tuesdays lead wellness inspired activities and conversations that allow students to connect with other students
● Wellness Wednesday: Wellness 101 Workshops focus on topics that help students to stay physically and mentally healthy during the year
● Self-Care Thursdays focus on a different self-care activity each week
● Foodie Fridays teach students a new, healthy recipe every week on Instagram, with cooking tutorials provided