As Skyline College concludes the semester, the push for staff to ramp up their services, for faculty to draft exams and prep students for their finals, and for students to study harder and longer increase. This increase in stress can do harm to one’s mind and body. Taking the time to break from prolonged tasks helps in reducing the harmful effects of stress. For these reasons, Active Minds and the Learning Commons collaborated in providing two weeks of activities, encouraging our Skyline College community to take a break and seek self-fullness!

Starting November 27, 2023, in Fireside Dining, Active Minds welcomed students with goodie bags filled with distressing fidgets, snacks, hot chocolate mix, and scantrons as a way to help students be ready for their upcoming finals while other students participated in creating their own holiday stockings. The following day, the jovial mood continued with students building their own gingerbread homes and receiving more goodie bags. On Wednesday, students took a break and watched Inside Out. And on Thursday, November 30, 2023, our students excitedly participated in the Lego and video game competitions. For each day, the students expressed their appreciation and gratitude for Active Minds hosting activities that allowed them to take a break from the pressures of studying and completing coursework.

Starting December 4, 2023, the Learning Commons kicked off De-Stress Week by providing board games, puzzles, and a Lego station. On Tuesday, Retention Specialist Raymon Gutierrez hosted the “Walk for De-Stress” where staff and students walked three various laps around the campus, including exploring the trails around Building 12. Around the same time, Outreach and Equity Librarian Pia Walawalkar and Personal Counselor Dr. Perry Chen provided a safe space in the Library’s classroom where students met for the last session: “Fears of the Future” – part of the Skyline Stories of Self-Fullness series. Students shared their worries about “not meeting expectations of their families and society” while trying to “meet the definition of success.” One student noted, “I try to combat my fears of the future by focusing on what I can control, in the present, knowing that can influence future outcomes.”

De-Stress Week continued on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. with Professor Amber Steele coaching students and staff on stretching techniques during her “Shoulder Release & Relax” yoga session. Then starting at 1:00 p.m., the Library welcomed students and staff to pat, cuddle, and relax with Star (Labrador mix), Vegas (black Labrador), Gracie (Australian Shepherd), and Buddy (Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix), the therapy dogs from the Peninsula Humane Society Volunteer Pet Assisted Therapy (PAT) Program. The Learning Center ended the week on December 7, 2023, hosting the Jackbox games party.

Our students could not express enough of their gratitude for these two-week activities that allowed them to take a break, refresh, and find shared comradery with their peers. Active Minds and the Learning Commons hope to continue such activities for Spring 2024!

Thank you to all the members of Active Minds, the Learning Commons (the Learning Center and Library), and the Peninsula Humane Society Volunteer PAT Program for helping the Skyline College community seek self-fullness and de-stress.

Check back next semester for more Skyline College Events and enjoy the Winter Break. See you in January 2024!

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