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OSU helps students alleviate stress using high-tech video games during finals week
Wed, May 01, 2013
The Oklahoma State University (OSU) Reboot Center, the first center of its kind in the state, uses cutting-edge technology to help students better handle stress as part of the university’s goal of becoming the nation’s healthiest campus. Launched in 2012, the Reboot Center has made great strides in reducing the stress levels of OSU students by teaching students relaxation techniques they can use when facing academic or personal challenges.
Part of University Counseling Services, the Reboot Center employs certified counselors who assist students with breathing and relaxation techniques with the aid of specially designed, therapeutic video games. Using state-of-the-art equipment and programs, students are taught how to "breathe easy" and calm themselves during stressful times. The spa-like environment is designed to ease a student's anxieties from the moment he or she walks in the door.
OSU freshman Crystal Smith has been an advocate of the center, not only participating on a regular basis, but also encouraging other students to take advantage of the center. ”I come to the Reboot Center to get away from class, get away from stress and to relax. Test anxiety is terrible, during tests I just think about the Reboot Center sit there, close my eyes and relax.”
Located in the Student Union, the Reboot Center is easily accessible to those who choose to use it. The program is free to students, and appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. While students are encouraged to schedule an appointment, walk-ins are also welcome. Dim lighting, comfortable furnishings and a waterfall provide a unique environment conducive to relaxation.
“Adapting to college can be extremely stressful for students learning how to manage the academic workload while adjusting to living on their own for the first time,” said Veronica Sutton, Reboot Center outreach specialist. “We utilize state-of-the-art equipment and programs to teach students simple techniques to reduce anxiety and stress and help them wind down.”
A survey of students who tried the center showed that virtually all benefitted from the experience. More than half of the students who visited during the center’s first month of operation reported the stress management techniques they learned helped them “a lot” or “a tremendous amount”, while 45 percent said the techniques helped them somewhat.
OSU President Burns Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis recently completed a session in the center "The Reboot Center really focuses on the next phase of our quest to be America's HEALTHIEST campus," said Mrs. Hargis. "Emotional health is so important to the well-being of students. This center is one way OSU is addressing those needs, and I couldn't be more pleased with the progress being made. The ReBoot Center has had such a positive impact on students that we hope to expand its services to serve faculty and staff, too.”
About Striving to be America’s HEALTHIEST Campus Campaign:
Oklahoma State University, a progressive land grant university, is well on its way to becoming America's HEALTHIEST Campus by offering innovative programming in areas such as physical activity, nutrition, stress management and financial management.
In 2008, a student-led initiative created a Tobacco-Free Campus. In 2012, OSU began providing fitness center memberships as part of the benefits package for employee. The America’s HEALTHIEST campus initiative, under the leadership of President Burns Hargis and First Lady Ann Hargis, has the goal of encouraging permanent, healthy lifestyle changes that will long impact the OSU community, the city of Stillwater, the state of Oklahoma and the nation.