Recreation Center

Recreation and Athletics Center
569 Pioneer Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-4REC (4732)
fax: (248) 370-4889

Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being

Welcome. Our focus in Student Wellness at OU is to empower students to lead healthy lifestyles and make positive decisions for their health and well-being.

Our team collaborates across campus to provide relevant, high-quality health and wellness programs and educational opportunities to all students. Wellness workshops and programs may be requested by resident assistants, academic peer mentors, advisers, academic instructors, student groups, etc. Our workshops and programs are open to all.

By clicking on this Submit a workshop request - you will be able to see the types of programs & workshops offered by our well-being team.

Feel free to stop by the well-being suite (bottom floor of Rec Center across from locker rooms) to learn more.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a nationally-recognized program that teaches individuals how to identify and respond to emerging mental health problems and crises in youth and adults.  The training focuses on the topics of depression, anxiety, trauma, panic attacks, psychosis and substance use problems.

Future training dates are coming soon.

For more information or to find out about upcoming trainings, please email Terry Dibble at

For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid (for adults who work with adolescent children), please email Melodie Kondratek at

Bright Light Therapy

All currently enrolled students and other Recreation Center patrons are eligible for free 15  minute sessions of bright light therapy. This is an evidence-based practice that can be beneficial for seasonal depression, sleep and mood regulation. Bright light therapy typically runs from October through March.   

View availability here.

Pet Therapy

Thanks to our wonderful partners at Fur Angels, we are providing our campus community with the opportunity to enjoy spending time with certified therapy dogs that can benefit our health & well-being (mind and body).

Pet Therapy at OU for the Winter 2019 semester:

  • Tuesday, January 15th from 12-2pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, January 30th from 12-2pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, February 6th from 7-9pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, February 13th from 9a-4:30pm in the Oakland Center's OSI office (#49)
  • Tuesday, February 26th from 12-2pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, March 13th from 7-9pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Tuesday, March 19th from 12-2pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, March 27th from 7-9pm in the Oakland Center's main floor lobby
  • Wednesday, April 10th from 12-2pm in the Oakland Center's Gold Room C

*Please note that interacting with the dogs is always completely voluntary*


You may submit a coaching request here

For personal counseling, please contact the OU Counseling Center at 


The goal of wellness coaching is to help you make positive changes in your life and help you take control of your health and wellness in areas such as managing stress, balancing time commitments, reaching fitness and nutrition goals, and sleep management tips.

There is no grading in wellness coaching and the changes you make are totally up to you. The coach will not make you do anything, rather will help you along the way by providing you with strategies to achieve your goals. After an initial face-to-face meeting (45-60 minutes), wellness coaching can happen via e-mail, over the phone, or continue face-to-face. This is a free service offered to currentlly enrolled OU students.


Use these resources to help you gain knowledge and identify tools to recognize and control stress.

Time Management

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.  Effective time management is a balance of your time, energy and attention. Time management techniques include:

  • Time chunking: Try this technique instead of multitasking. To time chunk, work consistently on a single task for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, and repeat. It may be helpful to set a timer to stay on track.
  • Combating Procrastination: Determine why you procrastinate. Is it hard to get started? Do you get bored? Are you a perfectionist? Use this infographic to learn ways to beat procrastination.
  • Getting organized: This starts at the beginning of the semester. Begin by updating your planner with important dates, getting a folder for each class, and putting away all study materials in their respective folder. Being organized from the start will save you valuable time later when you are trying to study.


Infographic: 15 ways to beat procrastination

Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro Timer for Apple

ClearFocus: Pomodoro Timer for Android

Organizational tools: Evernote or OneNote

Every Study Tip You Ever Wanted to Know! Really.

How Time Chunking Works

Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety experienced by students both before and during an exam. However, not all test anxiety is bad. Everyone needs some amount of stimulation to feel motivated toward a challenge. Too much or too little stimulation can negatively affect your motivation and performance. You should find your optimal zone of stimulation to achieve your best performance.

Test anxiety can be caused by: poor time management, failure to organize class information, or by our own negative expectations or thoughts about our personal performance. Common signs and symptoms include: sweaty palms, headaches, tense muscles, going on questions, doing poorly on an exam even though you know the material, and difficulty organizing thoughts.

Strategies to help:

  • Build an exam routine to prep for your test
  • Outline the test material into small, manageable chunks
  • Use a behavioral relaxation technique to relax your body such as deep breathing
  • Avoid cramming
  •'s a great stress reliever and can help re-charge your mind
  • Get some zzz's the night before your exam
  • Have a nutritional meal/snack with some water before your exam
  • During the exam, don’t rush when reading the questions



Merriam Webster defines purpose as “the reason why something is done, the aim or goal of a person” or “what a person is trying to do or become.” Finding your own purpose can be challenging. Purpose can be found through a combination of the following:

  • Attitude- how we interpret our experiences
  • Creation- what we create, achieve, and accomplish
  • Experience- what is gained from our experiences

Purpose lies within our attitude, which is one thing we can always control. Research shows there really is a science to positive thinking. Our positive attitude can be increased by practicing self-care, being mindful and thankful, and replacing negative self-talk. Maintaining a healthy attitude and sense of perspective is key when handling challenging situations.


Science of positive thinking

The Three A's of Awesome: Neil Pasricha, owner of the blog, 1000 Awesome Things, reveals what he believes are the 3 secrets to an awesome life.


Checking and savings accounts can both help you get a grip on your finances. Checking accounts function like a wallet, while savings accounts serve as an indestructible safe. Many banks offer joint checking and saving accounts with no fee for enrolled students. Credit cards, when used correctly, are a great tool for establishing good credit. Building positive credit history now will make your transition into adulthood, as well as your future finances, that much easier. Follow the “golden rules” of money management:

  • Track your purchases
  • Implement a budget plan
  • Pay off your balance at the end of each month
  • Be cautious with your credit card information


National Endowment for Financial Education Guide

Oakland University Financial Services

Oakland University Credit Union

Better Money Habits

How To Not Go Broke In College

MINT- personal financing app for Apple and Android

Balancing a Checkbook


WORKSHEET: Estimate a Budget


All relationships take work; healthy ones are built on mutual respect. Mutual respect allows your relationship to continue to grow through trust and support, compromise, separate identities, and good communication. Communication is not just about what is spoken, your body language has a large impact on communication as well. Body language includes eye contact, facial expression, and gestures. Conflict is expected in any relationship. Assertive communication through the use of “I” statements can help you effectively manage conflict. There is something to learn from every relationship. Manage your expectations and accept the differences of others to have healthy, fulfilling relationships. It is also important to be able to identify an unhealthy relationship.

Unhealthy relationships involve:

  • Isolation and/or excessive control
  • Threats and/or intimidation
  • Physical and/or emotional abuse

If you recognize these characteristics within any relationship, know that there are safe and confidential resources available to you, including the Oakland University Counseling Center.


Self Awareness

Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand how people perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment. With better self–awareness, we can improve our relationships, and reach our goals more effectively so that we can live the life we desire. This leads to better self-assessment and finally to greater self confidence. Self awareness is developed through practice of focusing your attention on the details of your personality and behavior in the moment. A mindfulness practice is the foundation for self-awareness. Mindfulness is a tool for investigating the mind and for discovering more about ourselves and how we relate to the world. As we observe our emotions and thoughts we develop a calm and clear mind.


LEARN MORE: Search inside yourself

APP: SuperBetter

TED TALK: Gaming for Your Life

Mindfulness: Getting Started

Self Regulation

Self-regulation is not the oppression of emotions, but rather, the deliberate adjustment of our behavior. To enhance your self-regulation, you will need to self-monitor and alter your perception. Self-monitoring is the regular observation of your body’s physical and emotional state. To self-monitor you will need to: be aware of your environment, notice your language, and be mindful of your body. Perception is your interpretation of the world around you. What are your biggest stressors?  Time management, test anxiety, personal finances--what are your perception of these factors?  New research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. By altering your perception, you can change your reality.


ACTIVITY: Self-Regulation

LEARN MORE: Search inside yourself

TED Talk: Body Language

TED Talk: Make Stress Your Friend

Get Motivated

Motivation is a skill that pushes us to achieve our goals and a neurological process that relies heavily on dopamine. To get motivated try these techniques:

  • Set incremental goals: Allow yourself to experience frequent positive feedback as you progress through a series of small goals.
  • Reward Yourself: We are more likely to repeat a behavior when we receive a reward after it is completed. Use a reinforcer to motivate yourself through your to-do list.
  • See the future:  Having our “eyes on the prize” can be the extra kick we need to reach our goals. Take a moment each day to imagine reaching your end goal; how you will feel, what will happen after, or how those around you will respond.
  • Lead the way: Be a leader- if not to others, then to yourself. Be in control of the situation. Speak kindly to yourself. Be honest about where you are at. If you aren't happy with it, have confidence in your ability to redirect yourself.


What is Dopamine?

The Dopamine Link

TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation

Develop Empathy

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling. Our fast-paced lives can quickly water down our empathy for others. We may think there isn’t time to consider others’ feelings. Doing so, however, has benefits that reach across our personal lives and into the community. Empathy is a skill that can be built through curiosity, active listening, kindness and leadership. With an increased consideration for others, you can live a more impactful life.


Video: Empathy

ACTIVITY: Loving Kindness Meditation

Search Inside Yourself: Empathy

Practice Kindness

Practicing kindness has an immediate effect on our mental state, along with various long-term health benefits. Gratitude, self-love, and a connectedness to the world around you all contribute to your ability to be an engaged world citizen. Through small daily kindnesses, you can quickly turn compassion into habit and influence others to do the same. Kindness truly is its own reward.


Kindness Ideas

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to the present moment with an open and curious mind. It is a tool for investigating the mind and for discovering more about ourselves and how we relate to the world. There are numerous health benefits of practicing mindfulness including a stronger immune response, improved focus and concentration, improved relationships, and decreased anxiety and stress. You can meditate sitting (in a chair or on a cushion),walking, standing, or lying down and in the midst of your daily activities. While a formal meditation practice is extremely beneficial for bringing mindfulness into our lives, we can also practice informally by bringing our attention to the present moment through mindful pauses.


LEARN MORE: Guided Meditations

APP: Buddhify 2

APP: Insight timer

APP: Headspace

Walking Meditation

Skeptics Guide to Meditation

Make Sit Happen

Benefits of Mindfulness


Use these resources to help you gain knowledge and identify tools for the most common concerns for college students.

Studying Habits
You know you should be starting and keeping positive study habits. Here are a few resources to help you stay on track.

Self Care
It's difficult to study, work, and fulfill all your obligations when you haven't made time to take care of yourself. Don't fall prey to the idea that you should be all things to all people. Learn to take care of you. 

Aim for a balanced diet that incorporates colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats or other sources of protein, and complex carbohydrates. Limit added sugars and processed meats. Stay hydrated by consistently drinking water. 

Sleep is important for all aspects of your health, and it's likely that you're not getting as much sleep as your body needs. 

Physical Activity
30 minutes of activity, 5 days a week, is the general guideline for optimal heart health. But physical activity is about more than just going to the gym (although the Rec has many great activity options!)---it's about moving consistently so you stay energized and keep your body able to do what you want it to do. Get up every hour (or as often as possible) to move during the day. Make time for rest. Exercise regularly.
An easy way to start physical activity is walking. Strive for 10,000 steps a day. A reasonable goal for most people is to increase average daily steps each week by 500 steps per day until you can easily average 10,000 per day. Many phones have apps that will track your steps or pedometers can be purchased at Graham Health Center for $6.