One University’s Compassionate Plan for Teaching Students Resilience

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Young adults are extremely stressed-out these days—and colleges across America are scrambling to support them.

In 2013, a group of top-flight colleges including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania formed the Resilience Project to pool ideas and resources around building students’ coping skills, including Baylor’s workshop on cultivating grit and a Harvard group that encourages students to reflect on their beliefs about success and failure.  Yale last year launched“Psychology and the Good Life,” a class about how to find happiness, while Bates is focused on helping students discover “purposeful work.” The Princeton Perspective, meanwhile, is a project committed to normalizing failure among certain not-used-to-failure types.

Florida State University is taking a different approach with a new program that aims to tackle not just how students can weather stress, but also how they can deal with trauma. This fall, its 6,000 incoming freshman will be required to take part in the “Student Resilience Project,” an online trauma-resilience initiative developed by the Institute for Family Violence Studies at FSU’s College of Social Work.

Every freshman will learn in a four-to-five minute video about adverse childhood experiences …

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