OMAHA., Neb. (KMTV) — Hundreds of hand-assembled goody boxes are prepared to hand to UNO students during De-stress Fest as a nice break as they prepare to close out the semester.
"My freshman year around this time last year was so nice. To be able to get out, go to the library and just walk around. The great things about campus life is seeing everyone, but this year, you don't really get that," said Brett Phelps, a sophomore student.
Instead of the in-person learning environment and social gatherings they are used to, students are instead learning online and sitting in their cars attending lots of drive-thru events.
"Some students really want that in-class setting. It is hard for some of them to learn that way so that is a big adjustment right there. Balancing everything, some have lost their jobs, some have had hours cut, financial problems, there are so many components to a students life in a normal year. Adding covid to it just added on more barriers that is stressful to them," said Bill Pickett, Director of Spirit & Tradition.
De-stress Fest includes two weeks of covid-friendly activities. The themes, as well as the locations, change.
Organizers said getting students out of their apartments and away from computers for a short period of time will hopefully strengthen their mindset and help them finish out the semester strong.
"We are also giving out things they can paint, people deal with stress in different ways. We try to do different activities that stimulate the brain, we provide food and on Saturday we are doing an event at Fontenelle Forest so kids can get outdoors walk around and enjoy the day, enjoy hiking and things like that," added Pickett.
Students like Phelps said this is a much-needed break from studying.
"I am a lot more stressed than I like. I am taking a lot of math classes which is not favorable. I am not the best at that, so it's just nice to be able to de-stress," Phelps said.
Some tips included in the goody boxes include:
- Eating properly & getting plenty of rest
- Avoiding unnatural energy boosters
- Getting emotional support if needed
- Keeping projects that bring you joy
- Don't overload yourself
- Avoid relaxing with alcohol
- Take deep breaths when stressing
- Get a message