Lauren Hannani staff writer
Stress and anxiety can be common for students stuck in a strenuous work routine. However, the Embrace Your Beauty Mark/Active Minds Club hopes to lessen or prevent this struggle from occurring during the school year by boosting students’ mental health.
After experiencing her own struggles in school, club president Rebecca Meshkani decided to form this club last year to make a relaxing environment for those who want to destress from their busy schedules.
“When I started high school, balancing my school life with my personal life got really hard and I realized it was hard on everyone, not only me,” Meshkani said. “So I wanted to create an environment where my peers and I could come together to talk about what we’re going through, and realize that we’re not alone. I’m trying to create a safe environment where everyone can feel free to talk about whatever they’re going through.”
One of the ways in which Meskani attempts to lower the stress rates of her classmates is by showing them Ted Talks, which are influential videos from expert speakers who talk about all kinds of topics, including mental health.
“I love Ted Talks. I always listen to them, and I realized that I wanted to share the videos with a group of people because I know other people would enjoy it as well,” Meshkani said. “We started listening to one Ted Talk a meeting, and had discussions about what we thought it meant and how we can apply those skills we learned from it into our lives. There were just always amazing conversations.”
Club members also share their struggles as a group in order to help students get support from their friends and classmates. This also helps them realize that they are not the only ones dealing with the problem.
“We learn new ways to handle everything and help each other collectively stress out less,” junior Bethel Behailu said. “By everyone sharing some problems, we get a better sense of ourselves because we know that other people are going through the same things we are.”
For the first time, the club is teaming up with Active Minds, a nationwide organization designed raise mental health awareness. With this new addition, club members hope to be provided with the resources they need to succeed in school.
“I think the club can benefit a lot from teaming up with Active Minds because one thing we try to do is get rid of the stigma regarding mental health, and teaming up with this organization gives us that much more exposure and knowledge,” Behailu said.
With start of the new school year, Meshkani hopes that more students can join the safe and trusting environment she has created so everyone can feel comfortable with his or her situation.
“I believe that everyone has a beauty mark, if that’s a mental illness, or something they’re going through…anything,” Meshkani said. “That is, something they’re struggling with, and the first step to helping yourself is to embrace the situation: embracing what is happening. The next step is to find tools to better yourself, and we have those tools.”
The club meets every other Tuesday in room V33 in the NormanAid room.