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PACE Hosts Friendship Speed-Dating for Social Anxiety Relief

by Paige Dormann Oct 30, 2023
Friendship Speed Dating 2023

Sarahjane Galvin ’24 knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle with anxiety. 

Ever since childhood, she has had to cope with nearly every type—from social anxiety to insecurity and more. That’s why she chose to get involved in Peer Advising Counseling Education and to help host this year’s Friendship Speed-Dating program on campus.  

“I hope the students leave the event with at least one new recognizable friendly face on campus because sometimes all it takes is for one person to notice you. For most of my life, I found it challenging to put myself out there without feeling insecure, so understanding personally what it is like to suffer from this gives me not just a personal perspective on the matter, but immense sympathy for other students.”

 Sarahjane Galvin ’24, political science major

PACE mentors, such as Galvin, are specially trained and certified through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators to provide peer education programs on a range of topics from health and wellness to safety and social justice issues. The friendship-speed dating program's goal is to help students work through social anxiety while bonding with others on campus. 

At the event, students were seated in pairs facing each other and had two minutes to discuss any topic of their choosing before moving on to the next person. PACE provided ideas for icebreakers ahead of time, along with tips on coping with social anxiety and resources from other health-related clubs on campus. 

“Since COVID, the topic of social anxiety is something we’ve seen increase in the counseling center,” said Denise Mikuta, PACE advisor and assistant director of counseling. “This event is a fun way to proactively address that, promote mental health, and reduce stigma.”

For students who continue to struggle with social anxiety after the event, Galvin advises they reflect on the severity of their situation and take appropriate action, whether that means stopping by the PACE office or scheduling a counseling appointment through MyDSU.