Relaxing during midterm week

Keene State College puts on many events to counter high stress levels

Kai Tippawong / Equinox staff

Haleigh Patch

Equinox Staff

Midterms week: A time where students are constantly stressed out due to various exams, papers and projects.

According to the National College Health Association, 30 percent of students said stress affects their individual academic performance. Affected academic performance is defined as receiving a lower grade on an exam or project, receiving a lower grade in the class, dropping the course or experiencing disruption.

However, most students are in the same boat, and KSC offers many activities and events to help reduce some of this stress.

For example, there are many group fitness classes held in the gym that fit different needs. There is Cycling, Rip and Ride, Power Yoga, Yogalates, Zumba, Yoga, Butts Guts and More, Hydrorobics, Pound and Self-care and Flexibility. One of the most calming classes, Self-care and Flexibility, is instructed by senior Faith Pudlo. She said this is her first year teaching it and an average of five to seven people attend. Pudlo said the purpose of this class is to bring awareness to people’s bodies. Pudlo said they start with body weight exercise and stretching, and end with relaxation. She said it is different than yoga, and it helps the immune system when they do inversions, or twists.

“It is important because it gives everybody a minute to relax and to check in with themselves,” Pudlo said. She said everyone seems more relaxed after the class, even her. Self-care and Flexibility is every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. There is a schedule posted in the gym with times and descriptions of all the other classes.

There are other events the college hosts for students to enjoy during this stressful time. Health student educator Tiffany Mathews said Hootie’s Rewards focuses on meeting the needs of students and promoting wellness programs. There are also wellness programs through Live Well KSC, which focuses on the nine dimensions of wellness.

Mathews said there are two different types of stress: eustress and distress. Eustress is positive stress, short-term and is meant to improve performance, such as studying for an exam. Distress is negative and can affect people physically and emotionally. Mathews said it is important to know what you are feeling and to go talk to someone if you need, because there are different ways to manage stress.

On October 18, a program called Guided Breathing and Relaxation was held in a residence hall. Two interns from the counseling center, Ileana Hernandez and Josef Broder, started the night off with some guided breathing exercises to help de-stress. Students were then welcome to stay to make homemade air fresheners, or color. Freshman Rachel Spear said she felt way more relaxed after the program, and that more students should definitely attend.

Hernandez and Broder said residential life reached out to the counseling center, and together, they created this program. Mathews said res-life is also responsible for hosting wellness or community development programs in residence halls to meet the needs of the students living there.

There is another program through Live Well KSC called Mindfulness Drop-in Sessions, where students meditate from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the Elliot Center.

“There are so many resources on campus for students to take advantage of,” said Mathews.

Mathews said there are positive methods for coping with stress that you can even do on your own. Exercising, spending time with family and friends, journaling, breathing techniques, listening to music or meditation are all great ways to manage stress.

Haleigh Patch can be contacted at

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