Meditation Across Campus — a new way to de-stress, unwind between classes

Severine Ford meditates in the LGTBQ student center during a Kent State hosted meditation session on October 10, 2018. Ford is a regular attendee of the meditation sessions on campus.

Lexi Marco

Students often find themselves in a state of panic or despair, desperate for a moment of relaxation and peace of mind. A new program says a lot of these stressors can be put to ease through simple meditation.

Meditation Across Campus is the latest program from Kent State of Wellness, and these meditation sessions offer peace of mind and de-stressing tips for students between classes. 

The program is designed to be simple, straightforward and accessible for students on campus. So far, the program is being offered weekly Monday through Thursday in various buildings on Kent State’s campus. The 30-minute sessions started in September and will continue until the start of winter break.

Kent State of Wellness director Melissa Celko has been practicing meditation for more than 25 years and facilitates six sessions per week through Meditation Across Campus.

“There are many reasons people come to meditation,” Celko said. “I suffered from chronic pain due to carpal tunnel and migraines. It had been recommended to me several times to find something related to meditation. I ended up not needing surgery on my carpal tunnel because of meditation.”

During the sessions, students can expect to receive a brief overview of the practice, meditation tips, a breathing exercise and a guided meditation.

Emily Nelson, a doctor student in the College of Public Health, has attended all three weeks of Meditation Across Campus so far.

“I think meditation is a way to clear out negative or repetitive thoughts from your brain,” Nelson said. “It helps to refocus and take over control of what you’re thinking.”

The purpose behind meditation is to calm the mind to create a sense of peacefulness. According to, a systematic practice of meditation can lead to a clear and happy mind, resolving conflict and some mental health issues.

Mindfulness, a type of meditation, works as a remedy for distractions and enables an individual to focus on the now. Studies show meditation can relieve stress and anxiety, increase focus and improve memory.

“Mindfulness is something that I never thought would work for me,” said Madison Gaskill, a junior psychology major. “When I attended a session, I realized how beneficial meditation can be. Mindfulness really allows me to not stress about the future and focus on what is going on now.”

Celko believes meditation can help students create a space that allows for mindfulness and being focused on the present.

“Meditation has shown me that it can be beneficial in the moment while you’re meditating, and then overall, as you meditate regularly, it allows us to have space between what’s happening outside of us and what’s happening inside of us,” she said.

Gaskill, who is new to meditation, said she is considering incorporating meditation into her everyday life.

“It’s hard to come to terms with stress and anxiety,” she said. “But with all of this research on meditation and a clear mind, I think it’s worth it to give it a shot. I definitely will be attending more sessions on campus. I think it’s awesome that Kent State of Wellness is introducing this.”

Meditation is most beneficial when practiced every day. However, Celko said 12 minutes of meditation three to four times a week will also show results in students, but she’s aware that it’s hard for students to find time between busy schedules and off-campus jobs.

“It’s really just scheduling it into your day,” she said. “Students should prioritize different things that matter to them, and meditation can be one of them because it can help with everything else in your life.”