Cal Lutheran is here to help with students holiday blues

Noah Morrow, Reporter

The holiday season is just around the corner, and the California Lutheran University staff is there to support their students. 

“We try to make sure no one is ever alone or without help,” Director of International Students and Scholars Carol Swett said. 

Swett said togetherness during the holiday season is important, whether if it’s with family members, friends or both. She also said that if someone is particularly struggling with their mental health, an on-campus resource that she recommends students try is Counseling and Psychological Services. 

Another source Swett said she recommends students look into is Cal Lutheran’s Center for Global Engagement, which is especially useful for international students who may not be able to go home for the holidays. 

“The Center for Global Engagement does a lot of activities to try to pull people together and help integrate students,” Swett said.

Swett said she also communicates with the students she works with to eat healthy foods and get the right amount of sleep every night, as well as reach out to her directly if they’re having difficulties.

“We really want to make sure they understand that we have an open-door policy and that they can talk about things that they are going through,” Swett said. 

Swett said she helped students become familiar with utilizing tools, such as journaling, to process what they are going through and to self-reflect. She also said students should take advantage of the gym on campus and get frequent exercise, which is especially important during arduous times.

Cal Lutheran’s newly installed Reverend Scott Adams is passionate about meeting the needs of the university’s students and staff and making sure each person he comes into contact with feels seen. 

Adams said the presence and compassion during these times is important because the holidays can be a time of great difficulty for many people. 

“Presence is one of the best medicines for people who are dealing with depression and feelings of isolation,” Adams said.

Adams also said that during his time serving as a hospital chaplain, his work with presence helped patients and families dealing with grief. 

“I’m really intentional about opening that space to create a space of belonging for everybody,” Adams said. 

Adams has recently implemented what he referred to as “prayer cards,” where people who are dealing with challenging issues and circumstances can put a prayer card into a jar and throughout the week, he prays for what the Cal Lutheran community needs. 

Adams also said it is important for us to be encouraging and compassionate with one another throughout this journey, as many of us may have no idea what one another could be dealing with. 

“One of my deepest goals here is to develop a beloved community,” Adams said. 

Using these resources can be of great benefit to students from all over the world. Both Swett and Adams reiterated how passionate they are about helping those they encounter to reach their fullest possible potential.