It’s dead week, and for many students that means it’s “lock yourself away from the world to focus and study” week. Finals will begin in just a few days, and stress and anxiety often accompany the end of the semester. But this week students have the opportunity to participate in a few activities designed to relieve some of that stress and anxiety.
“Several libraries across the country have done stress reduction fairs, so it is mentioned at library conferences and sessions that we attend,” said Jean Waldrop, director of Brackett Library. “We had talked about it for awhile, but I was hesitant to do this because the library is very crowded this time of year and already tight on space. The librarians did some brainstorming and decided that we could create some new spaces by bringing in some extra tables from physical resources and finding places where activities would fit.”
A library is typically considered a silent safe haven of studying, but this week it has an additional function. The library launched their first Stress Reduction Week, complete with activities such as puzzles, Legos and adult coloring stations. Other events have been offered throughout the week, such as therapy dog sessions, yarn time, story time and a human library. Students from a children’s literature class in the College of Education came to the library to do story time sessions for anyone who wanted to join, and Wal-Mart donated yarn for crocheting sessions.
“The human library allows students to ‘check out’ an older person to sit and talk to for a few minutes,” Waldrop said. “Retired faculty may discuss how finals used to be for them or maybe just an older community member offering to listen to a student and the activities that are going on in their lives right now.”
While the event was created with students in mind, Waldrop said faculty and staff are welcome to join in. The last two weeks of the semester can be stressful to everyone, and anyone can benefit from the joy and relief this event brings.
“I hope the students realize that we all need to take time for a break or rest, find joy in the little moments, and try not to let things overwhelm you,” Waldrop said. “It reminds me that the creator of the universe took time to rest, and he is always with me — even during the last two weeks of the semester.”
-Hannah Owens, director of news services