Making school less stressful with feng shui
The school guidance office should be a place where students feel free to express their personal problems, seek support, and ask for advice. A palpable feeling of safe and calm in a moment of distress can be vital to the students’ well-being and emotional stability.
That’s the idea Megan Pogash, a feng shui consultant, was going after when she transformed Wareham High School guidance office. Working as a volunteer, she decorated the room according to the traditional Chinese philosophy, which uses patterns found in nature as a guide for how to build or decorate a living space.
“Students come here for support. They might come due to a variety of reasons. The idea is that students will be able to receive the wisdom of the guidance office all the more,” said Pogash. “They are more apt to benefit from the guidance counselor suggestions if they feel that they are in the space that supports them.”
With a color palette of blues, grays, greens, and purples that relax and “nourish the relationship between the guidance counselors and the students,” Pogash put in many little touches to create a serene atmosphere. The office is decorated with undersea photos, plants, gemstones, essential oil diffusers, and comfortable furniture. She also provided a CD player with calming music and carefully selected books for students to read while they wait.
The redesign of the guidance suite did not cost the school any money, as Pogash donated her time and design skills and a United Way mini-grant of $2,200 covered the cost of purchasing major items like furniture and artwork for the walls.
Pogash, a mother of two, holds a master's degree in higher education administration and a bachelor's degree in psychology. Having a background in teaching at New Bedford High School, she thought the school might be the best place to use her talents and knowledge of feng shui principles.
“Our environment affects us so much and I feel like students need to be in a calm space to approach the counselor,” said Pogash.