Stressed out students will have plenty of support thanks to Stress Busters Week

students gather around irish setter at pet therapy event

Students gather around this pretty English setter during a pet therapy event this past spring, held to help students during the always stressful last week of classes.

Credit: Amy Gruzesky

The build-up to finals week can be a nerve-wracking experience for even the calmest of students.

Luckily, Penn State Scranton is once again hosting a series of fun-filled, relaxing events for Stress Busters Week, which will take place Dec. 9-13.

Campus Health Services Nurse Jill Thoman, who originated the Stress Busters concept on campus about a decade ago, has two events planned for the week: Stress Bingo, which will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in The View Café, and the very popular all-day Massage Therapy sessions set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Sherbine Lounge.

“The students love the massage day the best,” said Thoman, noting that throughout the week she’ll be handing out Crunch bars with a tag that reads, “It’s Crunch Time.”

Meanwhile, Katherine Stefanelli, campus counselor, will be coordinating three events during the week:

Mindful Mandalas and Rock Painting, noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, Sherbine Lounge: At the event, attendees can engage in adult coloring or rock painting, both exceptional ways to calm the nerves given the colors and soothing patterns, Stefanelli said.

Pet Therapy, noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, SLC Lobby: The pooches from Therapy Dogs International will be putting everyone in a good mood during their lunchtime visit.

Aromatherapy, noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, Sherbine Lounge: Participants will be able to make their own rice sachets that produce “calming scents and blissful sensations,” according to Stefanelli.

Student Activities is contributing to the festivities, too, with a Late Night Breakfast at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, and a Holiday Breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Both events are free and will take place in The View Café.

And, for the third consecutive year, the campus library will host its Unwind Your Mind activities, which will take place daily Dec. 9-13.

From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, students can enjoy a variety of fresh food and drinks including coffee, tea and hot cocoa. Also, there will be packaged snacks and drinks during the evening hours. It’s all free, thanks to funding from the Student Activity Fee.

In addition to the food, five tables will be set up around the library featuring relaxing crafts and meditative activities, among them knitting, coloring, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, origami, a collage-making station, board games and LEGOs.

“The idea,” said Head Librarian Jennie Knies, “is that by taking a break from their studies to do one of these meditative activities, along with a good supply of healthy snacks, students will feel better able to prepare for final exams and papers.”