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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

De-Stress Fest was a success for students

Diana Hass (left) and Athena Oreck, both senior recreation, hospitality and parks management majors, man the prize wheel on the last day of De-Stress Fest. Photo credit: Amanda Rhine

As the semester nears its end, the stress is just beginning. That is exactly the reason why at the end of every semester there is the De-Stress Fest.

From Dec. 2–5, the Wildcat Recreation Center hosted the recurring event with themed days centered around the purpose of relieving students’ stress, if only for a little while.

“De-stress Week is to get students to de-stress, basically, before finals and just take a deep breath and come in and see what we have going on here at the WREC to help them out during madness week,” said Diana Hass, senior recreation, hospitality and parks management major.

Dec. 2 was dubbed “Tranquillity Tuesday” and was expected to be the event’s introduction day to let people know that it was happening, said Athena Oreck, senior recreation, hospitality and parks management major.

There were several booths dedicated to relaxation and meditation. The hot tea and and scent stations were stocked with calming drinks and aromas to ease the nerves. Those who wanted to delve a little deeper into composure attended a yoga workshop.

The big hit of the day was the eye pillow creation station. Made with rice, fragrances and new socks, students tied together their own eye pillows to take home and rest on their tired eyes while they recharged.

Taking the time to recoupe should be necessary to live a healthy lifestyle and that is exactly what the week is meant to promote, said Charlie Curtis, a junior international communications major and representative of the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center.

Dec. 3 was “Wellness Wednesday” and proved to be very popular. A sugar hand scrub-making station drew a large crowd of curious people.

There was a banana bar where students had numerous toppings to choose from to satisfy their sweet tooth. It was so popular that the food ran out shortly after the station was set up. If that wasn’t enough, a “chill pills” candy bar was set up with large bowls full of M&Ms;, Mike and Ikes, gummy bears, Good & Plentys and Reese’s Pieces that students had the opportunity to mix in jars with handmade “prescription” labels.

“It was such a cute idea and the labels we made were so cool, along with the jars,” Hass said. “I mean, free food gets anybody in here and we had a line for (the) station and it went so quickly. It was really successful.”

Dec. 4 was truly “Therapeutic Thursday” with two masseuses and an acupuncturist working magic to relieve stress and teach students techniques for home.

“(My favorite part) was giving students the opportunity to get a massage or get acupuncture — those types of things that they are not always be able to do,” said Oreck. “I actually got acupuncture done. It was really cool. I had never gotten (it) done before.”

While the getting free massages and acupuncture was the highlight for the day’s event, a furry friend stole the show. Oso, a lovable 8-year-old Burmese mountain dog mix from the Butte Humane Society, provided a healthy dose of love and affection to those he came in contact with.

“Fitness Friday” brought the event to a close on Dec. 5. The Butte Humane Society was in attendance again, this time with Chunk, a playful 9-month-old pitbull mix, and Lola, a sweet 3-year-old pitbull mix. There was a prize wheel that made a winner with every spin and a yummy make-your-own-trail mix table.

“We did better than we thought we would,” said Oreck. “We were expecting to have 100 to 150 people every day and we had between 200 and 300 people show up every day.”

Overall, staff from the WREC hailed the four-day event as the most triumphant De-Stress Fest to date, Hass said.

Whatever the outcome of future events, the point of the week is to get students to take a second to breathe and take their minds off of the impending final weeks of the semester.

“These types of events the WREC does purely for students to come and relax, there’s no catch to them,” Oreck said. “They do it for the students because they care. I think they put a lot of effort into it and the students (can) gain a lot if they do come. It’s purely positive.”

Amanda Rhine can be reached at [email protected] or @am_rhine on Twitter.

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