Many Northwestern organizations Events will be hosted throughout the next two weeks aimed at reducing stress on students during reading and finals weeks.
NU Active Minds, a student organization focused on reducing the stigma around mental health struggles, will hold a quarterly “de-stress” event on Dec. 1 and 2 near the information commons desk at the entrance to the university library. Weinberg junior and co-president Pooja Jain said the event will feature coloring pages, snacks and fidget toys.
“We want to do our part to help students,” Jain said. “If you have exams, if you have projects, if you have papers, you have stress, whatever. However, it is important to make sure that you handle it in a healthy way.
Weinberg sophomore Maddie Kerr, another co-president of the organization, Reading and finals week highlight a common pattern that permeates the NU campus: students putting aside their needs for productivity.
Kerr said she often heard students “bragging or joking” about cutting back on eating and sleeping during finals weeks.
“It’s really important to help people know that ignoring your needs doesn’t make you more worthy or more accomplished,” Kerr said. “If anything, it will be much harder to achieve your academic goals when you’re running on empty.”
The Norris University Center will host exam relief events including an NBC Peacock streaming event, miniature horse therapy and a late-night breakfast on December 2, 5 and 6, respectively.
The events are meant to give students a chance to de-stress and get into a positive frame of mind before finals week, said Norris Program Manager Linda Look.
The NBC Peacock event will partner with Northwestern Bookstore to include giveaways and promotions along with streamings of “The Amber Ruffin Show” and “Saturday Night Live” on the ground floor of Norris. Peacock program on December 2nd from 11.30 pm to 2.00 pm.
Later in the week, a horse therapy event will be held with the non-profit Mane in Heaven, which offers on-site visits with miniature horses to hospitals, schools and other community spaces for therapeutic benefits. The event, which will be held on Dec. 5 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. in the Wildcat Room at Norris, originated from student suggestions, Luke said.
Breakfast runs from 11pm to midnight the following day. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Luke said breakfast was a beloved tradition among students. The staff decided to bring it back this year in the spirit of the “throwback events” Norris hosted to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Look said.
Chris Davidson, NU campus and community engagement librarian, said pet therapy is a favorite stress reliever for students. Prior to miniature horse therapy, students can visit the Great Reading Room in Deering Library to play with the therapy dogs.
“That event gets the biggest turnout,” Davidson said.
NU Libraries will provide free coffee, hot chocolate and tea at Mudd and Main Libraries on December 4th and 5th, followed by popcorn on December 6th.The Magical Snack Trolley of Happiness“ The first two nights of finals week will also circle Main and Deering Libraries starting at midnight.
Besides food and drink, the library will organize “refreshment stations” on the first floor of the library and near the core section. These stations are designed to be “necessary” and include large coloring pages, jigsaw puzzles and nostalgic Wii games, Davidson said.
“We want to give students an opportunity to give themselves a break because that’s an important part of finals — making sure you take time to step away from what you’re doing,” Davidson said. “Think about something else, reset your brain.”
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