UCSB students flood to ‘positive psychology’ series during pandemic

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For almost a year, UC Santa Barbara has been hosting classes online, turning the Isla Vista anchor into a ghost town because of the pandemic. Now university offers a not-for-credit online speaker series that helps students navigate the emotional ups and downs of the pandemic. Photo by Matt Guilhem/KCRW.

College students have a lot on their plates these days: an upended academic career because of the pandemic, the specter of the virus itself, and the general stress of exams and assignments. All of that fretting and stressing prompted a UC Santa Barbara student and professor to team up and launch the Resilience Summit and Certificate Program. 

Built around concepts rooted in “positive psychology,” its mission is to equip participants with tips and tools for taking the mental edge off the pandemic. The duo thought they were creating an intimate program that would maybe get a couple dozen sign-ups. It turned out that hundreds wanted to participate.