By Parisa Burton
The College’s Health and Wellness Program held its annual Thrive Wellness Expo on Wednesday, April 12. Vendors populated the College pathways and promoted things surrounding mental and physical health.
Two participants, Vivaan Kohli, sophomore early childhood education/stem major, and Cary Zuckerman, sophomore interactive multimedia major, occupied one table representing the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC). This was one of the many tables at the event.
“ARC is one of the resources for students on campus who need accommodations for tests or other needs,” Zuckerman said.
The two demonstrated how to create different origami structures and interested parties followed along.
“Doing origami is a nice way to relax from the stress of the college environment,” Kohli said. “It’s a fun and creative activity to help take students’ minds off of college for some time.”
With the guidance of the two vendors, students left the table with paper swans and smiles on their faces.
The Recreation and Wellness Center held a table with fun sensory games for students to engage in.
“We have a touch station where you guess numbers in the sand by not using your vision, you can test your sense of smell with mystery essential oils, your hand-eye coordination with a moon phase game and your balance through a course with different objects to step on,” said Ashley Cox, programs coordinator of Recreation and Wellness.
Students had the chance of earning a prize after engaging in at least two sensory activities, spinning a wheel, and correctly answering a health and wellness question.
The questions related to breathing, sleeping, playing and moving, corresponding to the Recreation and Wellness Center’s theme of “Play as Lions and Move with Pride.”
“These activities are important because it helps students realize their different senses and recognize how balance is also a key component of being well,” Cox said. “Managing, maintaining and knowing our senses can help us engage well in our day-to-day activities.”
The Recreation and Wellness Center offers different recreational events like RECreate your Night, which involves craft and game-based social activities, and they also host club and intramural sports.
Apart from activities, emotional support animals were a popular attraction at the event. Students lined up eager to pet the miniature horses and dogs.
“It’s important to include animals because some people get a lot of social anxiety from being around humans and having to force a conversation with other people,” said Makaylah Michel, sophomore criminology major on the pre-med track. “With animals, you can just be present and silent and they will still help and comfort you no matter what.”
The event provided students with a therapeutic break from their academic routines and allowed them to take time for themselves by engaging in wellness activities designed to improve mental health.
“The event helped me because I had many exams I was studying for that were stressing me out so going to the Expo, especially when I didn’t know about it at first, eased a lot of this stress,” said Michel.