By Joy Petersen
Were people really less stressed during Stress Less Week? It seemed like students were.
On Monday, music was played in between classes and SGA organizer, senior Christina Hernandez, received positive feedback from students, saying, “They want music all the time in between classes.” This would be especially nice for students like sophomore Gage North, who listens to music at home to relax.
Tuesday, dogs were brought in by a number of students. There was a mob to get in to see the dogs just for a few minutes. Many students got pushed around while waiting or decided to leave before seeing the dogs because the crowd was too much to handle. The situation was very stressful, I imagine for the dogs as well as us. But for the many students who did visit with the tail-wagging friends, they were ecstatic. Junior Drew Dunathan was very happy when I spoke to her. It was a good day for Dunathan because she got to play with puppies and wear pajamas to school for Tuck-In Tuesday. This made her “feel more comfortable” throughout the school day, in turn making her less stressed. But she wasn’t looking forward to anything else during the week because the puppies set the bar.
For that reason, Workout Wednesday wasn’t as big of a hit as the previous day. Only four people showed up in the small gym. One of our media specialists, Ms. Ward, was one of them. She felt nervous to join in because she wasn’t familiar with SoldierFit, a program that does boot camp workouts. Ward thought more people didn’t show up for the same reason. “I just think that people were afraid of the unknown. But I think if we maybe really tried to get more people to come, [Workout Wednesday] is a great idea,” Ward stated. She enjoys working out at home for the purpose of de-stressing and boosting her mood. After the workout at lunch Ward felt she was going to be more productive than usual because she was energized.
The rest of Stress Less Week seemed to fade out. Many students, including sophomore Jared Davis, whom I talked to early in the week on Tuesday, weren’t even aware of what the rest of the days were going to have in store for students.
While flowergrams were a nice idea, they didn’t seem to relax anyone. And as for the pep-rally on Funtastic Friday, students just wanted to go home. It looked like the seniors had taken the notion that pep rallies are overrated, and did go home, as about only a third of them showed up.
Stress Less Week wasn’t all fun and games for everyone. Mr. Bonfils, who works in the history department, felt stressed that week as always and for that reason assumed the students were too. When I asked if he had participated at all in the week’s festivities to help with that stress, he replied, “I kind of see them as something more for the students than the teachers.” And when I went to talk to Mrs. Voketitis, telling her we were doing an article on Stress Less Week, she joked, “To show how stressed we all are.” She said this while in a classroom full of students needing her help at lunch.
SGA has high hopes of Stress Less Week becoming a tradition for Damascus. Although there were high points, like the puppies, the other days fell through. Workout Wednesday would be great to have again for de-stressing, if the chosen workouts appealed to more students. And maybe next year we should think more about including our teachers. I’m sure when they’re happy, we’ll be happier, and vice versa.