De-Stress Fest set to soothe fear of finals

Zach Sullivan, Reporter

Bakersfield College will be hosting its second annual DeStress Fest on May 3 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the student service lawn to help students de-stress and prepare for finals, according to Faith Bradham, a reference librarian at BC who thought of and helped orchestrate the event. This year’s De-Stress Fest was help paid for by Each Mind Matters, a California mental health movement. According to Debbie Strong, a nurse who works in the health center, BC was selected for a $500 green ribbon school sponsorship, which Strong said was used to help fund this year’s De-Stress Fest.

When asked what her motivation was for starting De-Stress Fest, Bradham claimed she felt like offering students a method to relax and clear their head before studying for finals was something she wanted to do. “I wanted to make a De-Stress Fest last semester, it was my idea to start one on campus. I knew that a lot of different colleges and universities do something like this,” she said. “I’m trying to help students by providing them a place to not freak out during finals, because I know that is a huge source of stress for our students. Some of our students, this may be their first time in higher education so they might not know what to expect or what to do, so I want to support them that way.”

“I also want them to know more about the resources we have available. Last semester I did it in the library so they could see what the library could do. This time I believe it’s going to be really great because we have so many different people from all over campus coming together for it, so students will have a centralized place they can see all of the resources.”

Bradham claimed she believes both students and staff enjoy having the event on campus, and that she would like De-Stress Fest to become something the school does every semester. Ray Purcell, director of the health center at BC, said DeStress Fest will benefit students by helping them relax and clear their heads, enabling them to focus on their studies at the most critical point of the semester. “Allowing them to get some fresh air and clear their head, and then go back to studying when they’re fresh, they can be more attentive,” he said.

Strong also believes De-Stress Fest will help students relax and clear their minds amidst the stress leading up to finals week. “The purpose of the De-Stress Fest is to provide information for stress free activities to help students de-stress and learn how to relax. I often tell students that when you sign up for college, you sign up for stress. Students, most of them, are juggling family, work, school and that can be very stressful for them,” she said.

De-Stress Fest will feature numerous outside vendors who volunteer their time, including Marley’s Mutts, who will bring dogs students can pet; the Milan Institute who will be giving students massages, as well the student health and wellness center and numerous other groups and organizations on campus. Bradham claimed the most popular attraction in the past has been the dogs that come from Marley’s Mutts that students can pet.

De-Stress Fest is free for all students who want to attend, and those in attendance can receive anything from a free massage to mental health screenings, according to Bradham. She said she is excited about this year’s event, and hopes to see a large turnout of students taking advantage of the numerous mental health and de-stress tools that will be available.