De-Stress Fest: De-stressing college students one therapy dog at a time


The Appalachian Online

Cameron Stuart, Associate News Editor

The Office of Transfer Services hosted De-Stress Fest Wednesday from 12-3 p.m. to help combat stress and worries for exam week, Dec. 7-14. There were therapy dogs, massage chairs, coloring, yoga and tips about managing stress.

This De-Stress Fest took place for the third year in a row, Kim Morton, associate director in the Office of Transfer Services and coordinator of this event, said.

“By this time this semester, students are starting to get a little stressed,” Morton said. “I just thought it would be fun to bring all the different avenues of stress relief to them.”

Morton said this was one of the most popular Office of Transfer Services events.

Kristin Brown, nursing major, and Yesenia Martinez, both first-year Mental Health Ambassadors, helped students make their own stress balls at the event.

“Just looking around, you can see everyone’s kind of relaxed for just a second out of their day,” Brown said. “It is a really stressful time of the year.”

Mental Health Ambassadors also talked to students about the counseling center and services that are available, including therapy and group sessions.

“Since break is around the corner, I think it’s definitely helpful to take a break and to relax for a little bit, so we can be more productive overall and be okay mentally,” Martinez said.

The main interest of the event is the therapy dogs brought in throughout the day.

Morton said that they are so popular because students miss their dogs at home.

“Seeing people connect and be a part of a community is really important,” Matt Low, first-year transfer student mentor and senior industrial education major, said. “To take away from all the stress, to just come here and bond over puppies is important.”

This event is open to all students at App State, though Morton and Low both said that this event helps to accommodate transfer students as they adjust to college life.

“A third of our students at App are transfer students,” Morton said. “For transfer students, the first semester is sometimes difficult for them and so we just want to make sure they’re successful.”

Story by Cameron Stuart