By Kimberly Bogers
For a lot of students, college and stress are interchangeable words. College can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming, and this is especially the case during finals. As the semester comes to a close every assignment counts, and not studying well could mean the difference between passing a class and failing a class. Understandably, this means that finals can make students feel very high-strung and worried.
Because of this, Pensacola State College has tried for several semesters now to reduce students’ stress with relaxing, fun and generally stress-free events and activities right before finals week. This semester Active Minds and Pensacola State C.A.R.E.S teamed up to host Stress Less Week.
From April 20-24 several PSC campuses had a variety of relaxing and enjoyable activities at stations in different buildings including puzzles, coloring sheets with crayons, Kinetic Sand, games, “care notes” (a place where students, faculty and staff could leave encouraging notes for others to read), “trash your stress” notes (a place where students, faculty and staff could write their worries on a note, crumble it up, and toss it in the trash) and a Nap Zone where students could take naps in-between classes.
Along with activity stations that were left out for the entire Stress Less Week, there were events that were held on certain days at different campuses.
Throughout the week the Milton, Warrington, Pensacola campuses and South Santa Rosa center had free massages available for students, provided by Massage on the Go USA.
The Pensacola campus had Zumba lessons, free Chick-fill-A sandwiches and drinks for evening students, late night hours at the library and a free showing of the movie “Anchorman” with candy and drinks provided.
The Pensacola campus also provided activities where students, faculty and staff could receive free t-shirts from Pensacola State C.A.R.E.S. One day the group gave out shirts to whoever took a mental health screening; another day they gave out shirts to whoever participated in biofeedback activities and games; on the last day the group gave out shirts to anyone who played the hilarious game “Heads Up,” which is similar to charades.
Erica McAdams, a student at PSC who has participated in Stress Less Week before, felt that the Stress Less Week activities “made her feel less stressed.”
Another student, Dylan Nickels, h ad not previously participated in Stress Less Week but thought that the event was fun.
Nickel’s favorite part of the event was playing “Heads Up.”
“The Heads Up game, that was awesome. It was funny seeing how everyone acts everything out.”
When asked what he would like to see at next semester’s Stress Less Week, Nickels did not feel that many things needed to be improved upon.
“I’d say keep Heads Up, and increase the length of time for massages.”
PSC student Larry Jenkins has participated in Stress Less Week before, and finds that the event really does help relieve his stress.
“I would have a bad day or I would be going through problems in my life and Stress Less week would soften the blow.”
Jenkins participated in Stress Less Week by walking around the Pensacola campus with a sign that advertised free hugs. He went around campus for hours, and had over 100 people give him a hug. He also helped by handing out free food to students.
Giving out free hugs to strangers was Jenkins favorite part of the event.
“I’d have to say I enjoyed going around giving people free hugs as an example that love is the best stress reliever.”
Jenkins feels that in the future, free hugs should be incorporated even more into Stress Less Week.
“I think they should have a Free Hugs day. Go around campus and give out as many hugs as they can. Our campus, and the world, is in desperate need of more love, and one of the best ways to show that you love someone is with a hug! Once again, love is the best stress reliever!”