April 18, 2013

To members of our Penn family:

This has been a stressful semester, capped by an emotionally charged week of national tragedy. With classes coming to an end and finals approaching, you may find yourself feeling anxious or overwhelmed, or you may struggle to focus. These feelings are common. We are here to listen and assist.

Therapists at Counseling and Psychological Services assist students coping with personal challenges. In difficult times, it can be helpful to limit exposure to media, because replaying unsettling images can intensify distress and trigger memories of trauma. Maintaining a healthy schedule of eating, sleeping, exercising and socializing can be crucial to lifting one's spirits.

The Weingarten Learning Resources Center is home to time-management experts who share tips on how to calm nerves, set goals and prioritize. If you feel distracted, it can be helpful to study with others and to break large tasks into small segments. Minimizing multitasking can increase productivity. (For more information, attend our "Getting the Most Out of Reading Days" workshop April 23 at 6 p.m. See http://www.vpul.upenn.edu.)

The Office of the Chaplain tends to the spiritual wellbeing of the Penn community. Our staff offers pastoral support and discusses ways that faith can sustain students when they need it the most.

We hope you seek out these and other campus resources, such as House Deans and academic advisors. In difficult times, please take comfort by the strength and support of the Penn community. No one here need feel alone; Quakers stand together.

Sincerely,

Dr. William Alexander, Director, Counseling and Psychological Services

Dr. Myrna Cohen, Executive Director, Weingarten Learning Resources Center

Rev. Charles "Chaz" Howard, University Chaplain

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 215-898-7021

Weingarten Learning Resources Center: 215-573-9235

University Chaplain's Office: 215-898-8456