Over the past two weeks, students have poured into Silliman College to meditate, relax and study at the newly opened Good Life Center.

The center, which opened on Sept. 27, is a wellness space that features a meditation room with a sandbox, a study with board games and a small library of self-help books. The center also offers classes on topics such as mindfulness techniques. The center’s creation was spearheaded by the Silliman Head of College Laurie Santos, who last semester taught a class called “Psychology and the Good Life.” The course focused on well-being and attracted 1,200 undergraduates, making it the most popular class ever taught at the University.

Students who have visited the Center since its opening have overwhelmingly reacted positively to the space, with many feeling that it has encouraged community building and offered a nice alternative study spot.

“I think that the Good Life Center has provided a reminder that there is more to being at this university than stressing about my grades,” stated Sungmi Johnson ’21. “Also, everyone that has worked on this initiative has done a great job of creating spaces that are beautiful and inviting.”

Johnson added that she saw people from different residential colleges at the Center, and that she has been encouraging her friends from other colleges to come visit the space. She said that the Center was a perfect space for her to catch up with friends or work on a problem set in a more relaxing environment.

Brooke Milosh ’21 also said that she appreciated the space, as it helped her both study and relax better.

“I think that the white noise machines are one example of an implementation that [Head of College] Santos has put in place as part of the center that help my studying habits,” stated Milosh. “Also, when I am especially stressed, the sand in the sand pit is a pretty relaxing way for me to hang out.”

Milosh added that she was also excited to try out the meditation classes that are offered in the Center.

Mei Shinomiya ’21 also felt that the meditation classes were a good way to learn some of the “psych pro tips”  that Santos taught in her “Psychology and the Good Life” class.

“The Good Life center has been a great way for me to explore meditation classes as well as study in a space that is different from a traditional library,” Shinomiya said. “It is more relaxing, less stressful and a nice change of scenery. It’s great that it is in my own college too. I am privileged to be in a college like this.”

Silliman College opened in 1940.

Isha Dalal | isha.dalal@yale.edu .