Doctor’s orders: Pat more dogs

pat more dogs uml stress relief fair

When I was a sweet, summer child—young and carefree and with zero stress—this is how I’d rank my top-five, favorite holidays:

  1. My birthday
  2. The last day of school
  3. 4th of July
  4. Halloween
  5. Christmas

Now, since stress is a big part of my life and I don’t have the last day of school to look forward to, I just live for these holidays:

  1. 4th of July
  2. Thanksgiving1
  3.  Christmas

1Since it’s socially unacceptable for adults to trick-or-treat unless they have a child or something, Thanksgiving has taken the place of Halloween on the list. (Confession: I held on to trick-or-treating for an embarrassingly long time.)

BUT!! As of two weeks ago, I have a new favorite holiday!

STRESS RELIEF DAY

At the end of every semester, UML pulls out all the stops to help students decompress and take a step back from the stress of upcoming finals and the stress from college life in general.

Why is it the best holiday? Two reasons…

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Raise the roof! It’s growing food

raise the roof it's growing food

Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with eating vegetables (and eating healthy in general). Don’t even get me started on organic produce. Until fairly recently, I didn’t understand what made it better, and I didn’t really want to understand… But since society is demanding more locally sourced, organic options, I thought I’d learn more about organic vegetables. Apparently, it’s good for your body to *not* eat things genetically modified and coated in pesticides.

Anyway, it’s a pretty health-focused community here at UML. Not counting all the healthy activities available to students, the people I work with directly do healthy eating challenges, and University Crossing has a stair climbing challenge. This sounds terrible if you know anything about the stairs in UC. But it’s good cardio, so there’s that.

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You don’t have to fake it ‘til you make it

you don't have to fake it 'til you make it

There’s truth (and science!) behind people saying that positive thinking makes you feel better when you’re stressed out or in a slump. But sometimes the advice that “you should be more positive” doesn’t help when you’re already stuck in your head and feeling alone.

These feelings are what graphic design students, Sundilynn, Cathy, Ivanna, Alecia and Emily, tackled this spring semester in an interactive art piece. Their mission? Shining a light on students’ emotional health. They wanted their classmates to know that they didn’t have to fake being happy because they weren’t the only ones with negative feelings, and that they wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) be alone in working through them.

Supportive and positive thinking is the heart of UML’s culture

It all started with an assignment for the class, Form and Content (ARTS.2010) with Prof. Jennifer Houle. The students were tasked with creating a public art piece, and they decided to install the art in the gazebo on South Campus.

They wanted to draw attention to everything college students go through on a daily basis and to help spread positivity around campus.

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Colors of spring

I’ll just leave this here for everyone who feels like this cold and rainy spring was some kind of sick joke. On the plus side, this is what we get in New England when it rains 20 days straight.

Props to my colleague, Alfonso, for making this video and restoring my faith in the world.

Spring has arrived at UML. It’s. About. Time.