New Brunswick, N.J. -- The last two weeks of the semester are upon Rutgers University and stress relieving events are in full swing.
The “De-stress At The Zone” program took place on Dec. 13 at the RutgersZone on Livingston campus and provided activities for stressed-out students including coloring, jewelry making, Play-Doh sculpting, and free five minute massages.
The event, sponsored by Rutgers Student Life, Rutgers Health Services, Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education (H.O.P.E.) and Student Volunteer Council, was a way for students to learn healthy methods of stress management and to unwind before finals started.
Lori Smith, Associate Director of Programs at Rutgers, believes that programs like this one are important because it teaches students to self-manage and offers them a wide-variety of activities to choose from.
“I think it’s important to be in a group that provides opportunities like this so that students are exposed to options other than what they may know personally and they can make healthy choices,” Smith said.
Anna Krymchanskaya, a Rutgers sophomore, doesn’t let herself get too stressed during finals by budgeting her time wisely but sees some of her friends being overwhelmed by their finals.
“I see a lot of people around me freaking out about finals," she said. "I’ve seen a lot of crying to relieve stress. A lot of people are really looking for that stress-relief outlet, even if it’s for like five minutes. I think that this is a great event to have. It’s a little treat for everyone that’s been waiting for finals to be over or to start.”
Outside of the RutgersZone, Rutgers Health Services was tabling and displaying brochures that offer students resources on mental and sexual health education.
Cortney Panzarino, a health educator on campus that works with Health Services and H.O.P.E, said that the sexual health component of stress relief is not a topic everyone knows about and the students that have approached her at the table are eager to know more.
“Masturbation is a great stress reliever. It’s fun, it’s pleasurable, and it doesn’t require anyone to help you out with it. It also produces a euphoric effect if you reach orgasm. It’s calming and it could help students. So we talk about it.”
Panzarino thinks this is am great event to have on a campus that doesn’t always encourage sleeping and stress-reducing activities.
She brought up Midnight Breakfast, the annual late-night feast on the eve of finals that promotes staying up late to attend the event, even when college age students still need between eight and ten hours of sleep each night in order to be well-rested.
“A lot of students do have anxiety. They’re going home soon in a week and they have to show their grades. We have a lot of Type-A students going on here, so it is stressful.”
The most important aspect of the event for Panzarino is for students to know that the University recognizes that they are stressed and offers counseling services for when they feel overwhelmed.
“We’re here to help you,” she said.
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