Cozying up with hot cocoa and crafts

Students gather in the Asian American Cultural Center to make snow globes, hot cocoa, paint masks, and much more to de-stress before finals week. (Hanaisha Lewis/The Daily Campus)

From a table of basket-weaving in one corner to makeshift mason jar globes, hot cocoa and collage clipboards in another, the activity room in the Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC) was bustling with students seeking a place to de-stress before finals week. The “DIY-De-Stress with Hot Cocoa” event was a collaboration between AsACC, the Mixed Heritage Program and Counseling and Mental Health Services (CMHS).

The event was one of many hosted by organizations across campus for students to mentally and emotionally prepare for finals. Although there are many events for students to attend to prepare themselves academically for their exams, relaxing before a stressful period of time is just as important for students.

“So Tim Yang, who’s the AsACC coordinator, CMHS and I wanted to bring different DIY activities and some hot cocoa here for students to prepare themselves for finals and the last week of classes,” Nadejah Green, a seventh-semester special education major, said. “I work here and at PRLCC. I’m the Mixed Heritage Program Chair, and we wanted to bring in students from different cultural centers and show them that they can feel comfortable here and that they have a space they can go to. We wanted this event to highlight the Mixed Heritage Program because we’re a new program and want to let people of diverse heritages know that there’s a program and place for them.”

The hot cocoa bar included hot cocoa mix with marshmallows, as well as a bevy of toppings to add such as whipped cream, candy canes, more marshmallows, mints, Hershey’s Kisses and even more candy. One craft table was laden with magazines and Modge Podge so students could cut out quotes and photos to decorate and collage a clipboard. Another table had Mason jars, paint, electric tea lights and other decorations to make a cozy night light. On the other side of the room, students were having fun weaving baskets and making Mason jar snowglobes.

“This was one of the first events hosted by a cultural center that I went to, and I really enjoyed it,” Meghan Shaw, a first-semester ACES student, said. “I thought it was a great way to relax before finals, and there were so many activities to choose from. The basket weaving was fun to try, especially since it was something I had never done before. I would definitely go to more events like this in the future. They seem like a great way to meet new people and take a break from classes and homework.”

Many organizations worked together to plan the event, which successfully brought together groups of students that had beautiful and fun crafts to bring back to their dorms.

“As part of the mixed program at AsACC, we wanted an event that not only was fun, but also was a way to celebrate the end of the semester,” Sydney White, a seventh-semester pre-veterinary medicine major, said. “We wanted to plan this event for a way for people to come together, de-stress and try some things they may not have done before.”

“I think the event went really well, considering that we ran out of all our supplies,” White continued. “I met a lot of new people I wouldn’t meet on a daily basis, and I think the event accomplished what the program wanted to do, which was have students from the cultural centers interact. We want to do more events for the Mixed Heritage Program in the future, and get students more engaged.”

There was no shortage of hot cocoa, crafts and new people to meet at AsACC Wednesday night. The event was the perfect pick-me-up right before finals.


Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.