COPE puts the (DE) in (DE)Stress with on-campus activity event

Announcement for (De)Stress Fest this Thursday, December 8th. Photo credit: IG: @cope_umiami

It’s that time of year again where club Richter remains open 24/7, students are chugging Celcius and calculating how much they need to get on their last paper in order to get a B in a class. That’s right… It’s finals season.

“I definitely am stressed,” freshman health management and policy major Kathia Barahona said.

With finals creeping up, stress is kicking in for most UM students. In an effort to help students’ mental health during finals weeks, Counseling Outreach Peer Education (COPE, which helps reduce student mental health stigma, has partnered with Association of Greek Letter Organizations (AGLO) and Student Government to host (DE)Stress Fest.

The event will take place on Dec. 8 from 12 to 3 p.m. at The Rock. Students can enjoy pizza and treats, pet therapy dogs, get a message and receive a free sweatshirt.

“I think having this specific event is a great way of helping students see their friends, get outside and not just kind of be stuck in study mode,” senior exercise physiology major and COPY membership chair Kate Ei said.

Cassandra Michel, a senior psychology and community and applied psychological studies major, is a co-chair for COPE. Last year, she had the idea to partner with Student Government on a mental-health-centered event during finals season. The two organizations then talked with AGLO and planned the first ever (DE)Stress Fest.

“As a student who’s also stressed out about final exams myself, I hope that students can come and really just intentionally take a moment to not think about exams for a moment,” Michel said.

COPE is interested in making (DE)Stress Fest an annual event, Michel said. The three organizations have been promoting the event on TV monitors throughout campus, social media postings and the weekly wellness newsletter.

“We’ll look at people’s attendance and [how] well it goes,” Michel said. “It’s in a pretty seen location, so we’re hoping to continue promoting the event.”

Giving yourself study breaks is important, Ei said. (DE)Stress Fest is an opportunity for students to connect with one another in a time that may be isolating.

“Come to (DE)Stress fest, it’s gonna be so much fun,” Ei said. “Finals are always a stressful time, but be sure to take care of yourself. Eat, sleep, hang out with friends, do things that you enjoy.”