UConn Student Health & Wellness — the new name for the combined Counseling and Mental Health Services, Student Health Services and Wellness and Prevention Services — hosted “Well-Fair: Finals Edition” in the Student Union room 304A from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. yesterday. With finals season quickly approaching, the event encouraged students to unwind and de-stress, and it created a positive, calming environment where students could do just that. Highlights of the event included free massages, loose-leaf tea and a free Camelbak water bottle with the completion of an alcohol screening.
A variety of organizations and resources on campus had tables with information and freebies for students to help add to the calming environment. The UConn Recovery Community, the Academic Achievement Center, Nutritional Services and more all had booths with information for students, both for finals week and beyond.
One poster listed out substances to avoid during finals, such as caffeine, alcohol, Xanax, marijuana, cocaine and Adderal. There was a table with several baskets of free condoms, and another had a variety of types of loose-leaf teas that students could brew for themselves. There was also a yogurt bar where students could help themselves to different flavors of yogurts and fruits.
“I really like the free mint tea that they have here,” said Annie Foley, a second-semester diagnostic genetic sciences major. “I can never find free mint tea anywhere, and they had it here, which makes me really happy. I’m also getting a massage later, and I’m excited for that.”
The most popular part of the event was undoubtedly the free massages. Students signed up online for appointments or could sign up upon walking into the event. They were then brought into a separate room with the lights off and calming music playing. Students could choose to lay down on a massage table or sit upright in a massage chair, at which point they were given a full-body massage.
Also popular was the alcohol screening. Students filled out a one-page survey about their drinking habits and were taken into another room to have a one-on-one conversation with a screener to discuss their drinking habits and possible resources on campus that might help that student if needed. Afterward, the student was given a ticket they could use to claim their free Camelbak water bottle.
One table even had a large Spa Wheel. Students could walk up and spin a wheel with sections like “Chakras,” “Meditation,” “Relaxation” and “Aromatherapy.” They would be asked a question about the subject the wheel landed on, such as “True or false: Meditation only has mental health benefits.”
After they answered, they got to choose a prize such as an air freshener jar, body scrub, herbal pillow, mindfulness jar, wooden back massager and sleepy time pack. The herbal pillows were infused with essential oils of the student’s choice, which they could pick off of a chart to customize and maximize the benefits they would get from the pillow.
Fun, chill music played throughout the duration of the event. Students passed their time mingling with others as they colored, worked on an 1,000-piece puzzle and enjoyed the food and drinks the event offered.
“Overall, it’s great to see that there is a place where all the different resources are found,” Amy Chen, a fourth-semester allied health science major, said. “I found things today that I didn’t know existed. I’m glad that they had this fair cause it is a way to show off all the resources so students know what they are.”
The students and workers running the event congratulated students for taking the time to care for themselves in this busy season by giving their minds and bodies a well-deserved break and a moment to analyze how they were handling their stress. All in all, the event was a success and a welcome relaxation space as students begin to prepare for the stress of finals week.
Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.