Between coursework, final exams, home and work obligations and the approaching holiday season, December can be a stressful time for college students. To help relieve some of that pressure, Brookdale’s Office of Student Life and Activities (SLA) partnered with the Counseling Department, the Bankier Library and staff from the college’s Higher Education Centers to offer a week-long series of free activities, services and workshops to all Brookdalians.
“Whether you’re a first-year student preparing for your first ever final exams or an upper-classman getting ready to graduate and transfer, there can be a lot of pressure this time of year,” said interim SLA Director Lauren Brutsman. “This is our way of recognizing all the hard work our students are doing, and providing them with an opportunity to just step back, breathe, and decompress a little. A little bit of fun can go a long way.”
Fall 2016 Anti-Stress Week, held from Dec. 6-8, offered students a wide variety of opportunities to relax, unwind and spend some quality, stress-free time with friends and classmates.
The week kicked off with a stress management workshop in the Student Life Center, along with free massage therapy sessions and meditation bowls. Across campus in the Bankier Library, students were able to sit down and play with a team of certified therapy dogs as part of Brookdale’s biannual “Paws and Relax” program.
On hand to help students unwind were Tamela, a golden retriever; Molly, a mini schnauzer; Dottie, a black labrador retriever, and Bailey, a Vizsla.
“They are so cute,” said second-year business law major Jas Davis, who joined dozens of fellow students for this year’s Paws and Relax event.
“As an animal lover, this is just perfect for me. It’s a pretty stressful time of year, but having the dogs here and the rest of anti-stress week is really helping. It grounds you, and you get to just focus on something so precious and pure for a while. It’s important.”
On Wednesday the programming continued with more free massages and an all-day screening of The Secret Life of Pets, followed on Thursday with a college hour anti-stress party in the Student Life Center. Students were treated to a flavored oxygen bar, virtual reality video games, adult coloring books, a Lego station, massage therapy and an assortment of free food and refreshments. In the library, students were treated to a free “snack and study session.”
Throughout the week, college staff also provided students with a list of stress-reduction strategies to take with them into their final exams, and for the months and years ahead.
“De-stressing is a lifelong skill,” said associate library Professor Amy Clark. “Learning to step back and manage stress effectively will bring advantages to students as they move through college, through graduation and venture out into the working world.”
For journalism major Jada Wood, the only problem with anti-stress week is that it only happens twice a year.
“I would love to see this before midterms too,” said Wood, who spent some time playing with Tamela the retriever on Dec. 6. “With work and school and exams, it can get to be a bit much; you just don’t know how to relax. But this week helps immensely. I feel so refreshed now. I’m ready to go.”
Check out more photos from Fall 2016 Anti-Stress Week here.
Check out more upcoming Student Life events by visiting the Student Life and Activities calendar.