Students relax at Destress Fest


by Mira Dover


Exam week can be one of the most overwhelming and stressful weeks in the semester for students preparing for exams, packing to travel home for break or juggling other responsibilities. The office of Student Activities and Involvement (SAI) in The Union began organizing a semesterly Destress Fest in Spring 2021, and it’s been a hit ever since.

“[Destress Fest] is a three-day event that was started by a former grad student,” says Olivia Baumgartner, the SAI Graduate Assistant for Organizational Development. “We are aiming to reduce the stress levels of students before finals and give them some time to relax and take time for themselves.”

Destress Fest was broken into three separate days. The first two, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, took place in The Union’s Taylor Down Under. “We’re doing a tie blanket craft as well as some small crafts like bracelet-making and coloring,” says Baumgartner. On the final day, Dec. 2, Destress Fest took place at University Recreation.

Evelyn Marzol, a senior Linguistics major, was working on the DIY blanket craft by tying two pieces of fabric together in small pieces. “I’ve always loved the [Student Activities] events,” she says. “I think they’re a great opportunity for students to engage with something that's on campus and is safe and fun. During finals week, we all need something to destress and to come together as a community because I feel like sometimes we can isolate ourselves.”

Fortunately, Destress Fest takes place every semester in the fall and spring right before exams. “It’s really satisfying to hear people say ‘I really needed this today,’” says Baumgartner. “It brings people together.”

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Published: Thursday, February 2, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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