Move over, Snapchat. There’s a new app taking over the college scene, and the only filter is a warm and radiant smile.
The name is Calm College, and our big, audacious goal is to introduce every college student in America to mindfulness meditation.
Here’s a thought exercise: how would college campuses look different if every student practiced meditation? How would classrooms change if professors incorporated mindfulness into their teaching? And how would the world be different if cultural leaders all embraced the virtues of purpose, presence, and compassion?
So far, over 100 colleges are currently involved in the onboarding process to participate in Calm College, with seven schools (Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, NYU and UPenn) leading the initial launch this Fall semester. By starting our beta-program with these universities, we’ll learn what it’ll take to ultimately get mindfulness #trending on campuses across the country.
Students, faculty and staff at Calm College partner schools will have free access to all of the app's features, including 100+ guided meditations, 60+ Sleep Stories, Calm Music, breathing exercises, and our brand-new College Collection: an inspiring series focusing on how to practically apply mindfulness into the college lifestyle.
These meditations are designed to help students manage test anxiety, stay focused in class, and find more restful zzz’s.
The topics of these sessions include:
- Introduction to Meditation
- Self compassion
- Study Break
Throughout the year, these colleges will be sharing Calm all around campus: freshman dorms, counseling and wellness centers, classrooms, libraries, athletic departments, and anywhere else students can benefit from a mindful moment. In company with our partner universities, Calm College is also collaborating with national collegiate mental health organizations such as Active Minds and The JED Foundation to make Calm affordable and accessible to students around the country. For those not affiliated with our partners, a Calm Student Discount is also available.
Science departments have not to worry. There are 3,000+ clinical studies on mindfulness, with over 75 proven benefits! Meditation can enhance focus, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and augment working memory — all pretty important for the modern day scholar. Better yet, Calm is coordinating scientific studies at Ohio State University and Arizona State University to provide empirical evidence for just how life-changing a Calm mind can be.
So, why are we doing this? In recent years, mental health has become a growing concern, especially for students at the collegiate level. Approximately 95% of college counseling centers say that student psychological problems are on the rise, while half of college freshman today rate their own mental health as poor. And for the first time ever, depression and anxiety are now recognized as the top impediments to student academic performance.
The fact of the matter is, college stress isn’t going anywhere. There will always be exams, weird roommates, and half-off wings that just don’t live up to their Yelp review. Through developing mental habits of balance and non-judgement, we hope to promote a culture of resiliency for generations of college students to come, while covering new ground in the emerging intersection of mental health and technology. By introducing mindfulness to students around the nation, we're hoping to re-define what it means to get a college education.
Who knows? In years to come, we may just hear students talking about the Daily Calm on the campus quad, or practicing deep breathing during a stressful test. A mindfulness journey lasts a lifetime, and this one starts right here.