Roosevelt students relax before finals at De-Stress Fest
By Daria Sokolova
A quizz wheel, hot cocoa, tea and a coloring lounge were just some of activities offered to Roosevelt University students during the De-Stress Fest aimed at helping students to relax and unwind during finals week — one of the most stressful periods of the academic year.
In a chain of events that took place from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5 and included “Hot Cocoa, Tea and Coloring Lounge,” “I De-Stress U-De-Stress” and “Come Burst Our Bubble,” the Counseling Center tried to alleviate the stress most students go through their last week of school.
Kusha Murarka, assistant director of outreach services at the Counseling Center, said the bi-annual event serves was a way to help students relax before the finals and end the semester on a positive note.
“Today, we are doing a de-stress quizz wheel,” said Murarka about the second day of the fest. “It’s just helping engage students on how they de-stress. Getting some in-person experience to hear what are their ways in which they might relax that could be helpful to other students who might need some ideas. There might be some other questions that might help them figure out how to manage their stress level.”
The Counseling Center sees its mission in facilitation with emotional and cognitive learning, while enabling students to reach their academic goals. For the De-Stress Fest, it partnered with Residence Life as a three-day event was split between the Wabash and the Auditorium Buildings.
“We had a hot cocoa and tea coloring lounge,” Murarka said about the first day event that took place in the Fainman Lounge. “It’s a place where students can stop, get some hot cocoa or tea. … They might talk to peer advocates and pick up some brochures or de-stress tips, and then if they want to stay, they can engage in some coloring activities. It’s just a way for them to distract from the stress of studying and preparing for the finals.”
Murarka said the fest is also a part of the push to get more students to come to the Counseling Center and is a way of preventing problems, as students can educate themselves by reading brochures and taking advantage of the counseling sessions provided by the center.
“If we inform students, then maybe they won’t reach the level where they need to come to the Counseling Center,” Murarka said. “They can get advice and suggestions from these workshops or start doing self-help through the information they learn.”
According to Murarka, the event didn’t have specific expectations, as the Counseling Center was hoping to get from 100 to 200 students to stop by its activities during a two-day stretch.
“It’s not something we are promoting a lot because we know students will be around campus so they are going to stop by because they see it,” Murarka said.
The draw to an end of an array of workshops scattered throughout the fall semester, the De-Stress Fest set a tone for the new semester that, according to Murarka, will bring new projects.
“We are going to collaborate with other departments — athletics and wellness,” she said. “[The] athletics department helped to collaborate some workshops on the body image and sleep. They will be doing some workshops, as well. It’s a wellness series that we put out.”
Murarka, who also keeps a log of the participating students, wasn’t able to provide the attendance numbers. She said the final tally will be done at the end of the academic year as the second de-stress workshop takes place at the end of the spring semester.
Murarka advised students that “sleeping and eating as well as scheduling breaks” might be beneficial.
“Our minds can only retain so much information at a time,” she said. “It’s important not to cram at the last minute because our brain doesn’t retain the information in a way that you will be able to perform well if you are doing it last minute. Prepare in advance as much as you can. That’s important.”