Emma Esteb – Staff Writer
The stress of finals and the last push towards the end of the semester is fast approaching. The Peer Assistants (PA’s) are hosting their annual De-Stress Fest from 6-8 PM in the 3 Crowns Room/Heritage Room/Center for Inclusive Excellence on Nov. 17. This event gives students the opportunity to make their own aromatherapy socks or decorate mugs, learn about the positives of practicing gratitude and journaling, or play games like Giant Jenga and fold origami.
This event has been a huge success in the past which is why the PAs were so passionate about bringing it back. Senior PA Alex Chou said the feedback surveys from this event have been extremely positive. Students have commented on the perfect timing of the De-Stress Fest as Thanksgiving break and the final stretch of the semester are fast approaching.
The goal of this event is to “give students a few hours of stress free activities to clear their minds,” Chou said. There will be many tangible activities that help students relax and de-stress from the hardships of the semester. Using your hands distracts the brain which ultimately creates a more stress-free mindset.
Not only will there be fun activities but there will also be hot chocolate and cookies to compliment the cold weather. Students will also be eligible for prizes for attending the event. These prizes include a weighted blanket, diffuser, massage gun, body pillow, and more.
The PAs co-sponsored this event with the Gustie Well office. The Counseling Center and the Learn to Live Program also contributed to this event as their videos and advice will be shown and shared during the De-Stress Fest. These organizations and resources help provide insight on how students can better manage their stress and use specific practices to maximize their time.
This event has been a huge hit consisting of around 200-250 students in the past few years. The De-Stress Fest is a “staple and favorite event put on by the PAs and students look forward to it every year,” Chou said. Despite the success of this event, another push for the De-Stress Fest was because students are now able to gather in person.
The COVID-19 pandemic limited many events and gatherings last year which pushed the PAs to host this event again. The pandemic has placed a toll on many individuals which also prompted the PAs to create a stress-free and fun environment for students to enjoy. The activities correspond to the aspect of “de-stress” as the aromatherapy socks have specific essential oils that contribute to better sleep or relaxation, and decorating mugs helps distract your mind as your hands are coloring.
One of the students’ favorite activities is petting the dogs from Pause for Paws. Unfortunately, the PAs were notified that the dogs will not be able to attend this event. Chou said that the organization was extremely friendly and apologetic about the situation and still played a vital role in helping with this event.
The PAs are hoping for a large turnout similar to years past. The activities, prizes, and food create a lighthearted and fun environment for all students on campus to enjoy. A few hours of de-stressing and relaxation are a must for the fast approaching end of the semester.
Students are adjusting back to a full semester of in-person classes again after a year of hybrid and online courses. This shift can cause a lot of stress for individuals and especially Sophomores and First-year students as they are adapting to their “first” year of college full in-person classes. This event is an opportunity for a study or homework break as “school isn’t just about school, but also about making memories and taking time for yourself,” Chou said.
This event is the perfect break in the week as Thanksgiving vacation is coming up. Fun tactile activities, prizes, food, and learning about mental health creates an informative and exciting night for college students to enjoy. De-stressing and relaxing for a few hours can be a vital factor in jumpstarting the rest of the week and the rest of the last push towards Thanksgiving break.