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Resilience is a key component to your success as a student at SIU Carbondale. Being able to "bounce back" from negative life events stronger, more capable, and wiser is a trait that you have developed already. Let's face it, in order to get to college, you have had to overcome obstacles, disappointments, and even loss along the way. So how were you able to keep going, and what do you need to build on your resilience to make it through the next 4 years successfully? 

Click on the tabs below to learn more about resilience

What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to adapt, bounce back, and overcome challenges when faced with adversity or significant amounts of stress. This can include academic challenges, relationship stress and disappointments and setbacks of all kinds. Resilient people do not only overcome adversity, they also learn and grow from their experiences. 

What does a resilient person look like? According to the Resilience Center, characteristics include:

  • Optimism
  • Playfulness
  • Adaptability
  • High self-esteem
  • Having positive relationships
  • Being able to express feelings
  • Being able to learn from experience

Resilience Center

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Resilience Workshops

There are times when we all feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. Let’s face it, college can be a challenge for anyone. Learning how to build resilience can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and provide you with the skills to continue on your path towards success. The following workshops can help you establish the additional skills needed to become more resilient.

  • Resilience:  I may Bend, but I will not Break!
    • Are you able to bounce back from negative life situations? This presentation will help you find out just how resilient you are! Discover your strongest areas of resilience and identify the areas you need to work on. Participants will also learn about the characteristics of highly resilient people, and find out how to become more resilient. Request workshop
  • Kintsugi: The art of Broken Pieces
    • “Kintsugi is a pottery technique. When something breaks, like a vase, they glue it back together with melted gold. Instead of making the cracks invisible, they make them beautiful. To celebrate the history of the object. What it’s been through.” ~Leah Raeder kintsugi
  • Learn how to transform negative life events into hope for the future by creating your own Kintsugi piece during this 90 minute workshop. Request workshop
  • Koru Mindfulness Class
      • During this free 75 minute, 4-session class, you will learn how to strengthen your resilience through a variety of meditations that can help you to reduce stress, improve sleep, concentration, and focus. To find out more about this class, please email Request workshop

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Emotional Resilience

Staying Flexible (

Resilience involves flexibility and balance in your life as you experience stressful circumstances. What does it mean to have flexibility and balance?

  • Allowing yourself to experience strong positive and negative emotions, and not allowing negative emotions control your experience.
  • Moving towards and taking action to deal with stressful experiences, while also allowing yourself to step back to rest and reenergize.
  • Spending time to nurture yourself through hobbies, talking with loved ones, or relaxation.
  • Relying on others when necessary, and relying on yourself.

Refers to one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises.

Emotional resilience is a trait you can develop!

  • Focus on what you can control
  • Use events as learning experiences
  • Alter your perceptions
  • Limit hostility
  • Strive for goodness
  • Develop compassion and practice gratitude
  • Engage in self-care
  • Don’t isolate self
  • Look for humor
  • Develop mindfulness

If you need additional help building emotional resilience, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 618-453-5371.

…and remember, developing resilience takes time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you strive to become more resilient!

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Resilience and Retention Committee

SIU Carbondale created the Resilience and Retention Committee in 2018 in order to provide students with support on their journey towards success academically, personally, and emotionally.

The mission of the Resilience and Retention committee is to support and promote student resilience, well-being, and success by coordinating and strengthening campus wide efforts.  Connecting students to campus resources supports retention and helps build resilience by promoting self-efficacy and personal growth.

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