Hi! I’m Alanna, a third-year BSc student at Dalhousie and I’m here to provide a student perspective on the UniVenture program and explain why this unique opportunity is one you shouldn’t pass up. Here’s a quick hint: it’s a lot more than earning $75 in amazon gift cards or those 3 extra SONA points.
What is UniVenture to Students?
UniVenture is called a lot of things across our many platforms: a study, a program, a randomized control trial, etc. Above all, UniVenture is an opportunity. To researchers, UniVenture is an opportunity to help improve students' well-being and outcomes by testing and developing a targeted wellness program. However, for students, participating in UniVenture is an opportunity to help themselves, through personal understanding and development, and help other students, by supporting the development of an effective and accessible student wellness program on-campus. Participating in UniVenture helps students by providing an opportunity for self-understanding and personal development through participating in a personality-based wellness intervention. However, participating isn’t only beneficial on an individual-level. Being a part of this study helps amass evidence to identify and support which aspects of a student wellness program work best for university students, so participating is also a way to advocate for and help improve an accessible on-campus wellness program.
Personal Growth & Development: Personality is Key
The UniVenture program provides enhanced personal growth and development opportunities because the program is personality-based. Eligible students will participate in 2 workshops which targets 1 of 4 personality dimensions.
The workshops give students the opportunity to learn about their unique personality and gain personality tailored tools and tips which effectively help with decision-making, goal-setting, and coping with specific life challenges. As scary as it can seem to openly discuss our experiences and thoughts, workshops are confidential and led by highly trained clinical psychology facilitators. Students who have previously completed the workshops reported feeling appreciative to have a safe space for open discussion, as well as the coping strategies learned. In addition, the vast majority (72%) reported they felt the workshops were useful for them. Not to mention, each in-person workshop will have snacks and drinks!
Better Student Wellness Resources: Happy Medium between Accessible and Individually Effective
Since not all students will be eligible for workshops, it’s important to highlight that no matter what, participating has benefits for yourself and other students because it contributes to enhancing and understanding student wellness resources. Unfortunately, sometimes accessing campus resources can involve long wait times, booking difficulties or other accessibility barriers. Following the pandemic, students are in greater need of health and well-being support. UniVenture baseline survey data highlights a heightened need for better on-campus resources and indicates that, on average, students are moderately depressed and anxious. To ensure that all students are receiving effective help, a program that is both widely accessible, but also targeted enough to be effective is needed. UniVenture aims to test and develop a suitable program. The project challenges the one-size-fits-all approach by including tailoring and consideration of students' unique personality type, while also maintaining inclusivity. So far, UniVenture feedback supports these goals, with 87% of students being eligible for the intervention and 72% of students feeling the workshops were useful. Your participation will help us continue to demonstrate the potential for targeted, but inclusive programs like UniVenture and help university students across Canada by advocating to make campus student resources and programs effective and inclusive.
Thanks for reading! I hope you have a better perspective on UniVenture and now recognize all the ways you can benefit, and help your fellow students benefit from participating. If I’ve convinced you, visit the Participate page on our website to complete the baseline survey for your campus. If you have questions, visit the Contact Us page for your university's UniVenture contact. Lastly, if you want more information about the personality types or the project, check out our other blog posts and follow us on Instagram @_univenture.