Although the COVID-19 pandemic has literally closed doors across the world because of quarantines and social distancing, it opened a door for Robyn Swayne that allows her to help those in isolation.
Years ago, Swayne started dabbling with simple video software to vlog about anime conventions and meditation. The graduate student in the College Student Personnel program with the College of Education and Human Services has relied on these skills for creative projects in her classes. One of her classes required a project with Ship’s Counseling Center, where Swayne works as a graduate assistant, and she suggested developing videos on coping skills.
“Videos like these are something I have wanted to make for the Counseling Center for some time, but there were always so many other things going on,” she said. “Now that the environment has changed for the rest of the semester, it really opened up the door for me to just do my thing in a way that can help students and even reach beyond that.”
Through her videos, Swayne said she likes to play around and be creative with ways to reach college students. The Counseling Center has posted several of her mental health videos on topics such as establishing a routine and deep breathing coping skills.
“When COVID-19 hit and we all had to start getting creative with how to reach out to students, I knew videos were going to be a natural fit for me.”
Swayne credits her amazing undergraduate academic advisor at Penn State University for encouraging her to try new things in college. That experience also drove her desire to be an academic advisor for exploratory undergraduate students. “I want to help students not only explore their own authentic interests during college but really help them shine and be their best self during these really important years of their lives.”
She hopes her tips are helpful to anyone who wants to use them. “It’s cool because I can help the students who are here at Shippensburg now, but these are resources that can be used well beyond my time here as a graduate student and can be shared beyond the confines of only Ship students.”
In her latest video, Swayne discusses seeking accurate information to limit anxiety during COVID-19. Her tips include:
- Give your brain a rest from the constant flow of information.
- Set a specific time to take in news or social media.
- Make sure the information comes from reliable resources.
- Limit social media or block negative people.