Greek Life and Healthy Living Program team up to combat start-of-semester stress

Photo courtesy Christian Rodriguez

Ana Mancebo | Contributing Writer

Week of Welcome had a lot of loud events, like UPROAR, Aux Cord Wars and more. But Thursday night in the Graham Center pit featured something a little different: stress balls. 

At 6:30 pm, on the first Thursday back from winter break, the Multicultural Greek Council collaborated with FIU’s Healthy Living Program to offer students ways to cope with the stress that comes from the new semester. 

As part of “MGC Week,” sorority Lambda Theta Alpha and fraternity Lambda Alpha Upsilon hosted their “Mental Health and Wellness Resource Fair” at the Graham Center pit, where tables were set up with self-care goodies, flyers, activities, and baskets raffled off to students. 

FIU health educator Melyssa Douillard ran the table providing pamphlets with information on the Healthy Living Program and its resources. Students could also get essential oils alongside booklets describing aromatherapy, its benefits, and how to properly use it. 

“MPH Health Promotion Services promote complete wellness,” Douillard said. “Both mental and physical wellness are a priority.”

Not only did this event give students resources to handle the pressures onset by their new classes, but it also gave participants the chance to create their own ways of destressing. 

It almost looked like a kitchen, but the rice and flour students used weren’t for cooking: they used them to create their own stress balls. Participants might have had a little too much fun though, as the organizers had to get rid of the flour after it got messy. 

“Making our own stress balls gives people the chance to socialize,” LAU President Jared Santos explained. 

The stress balls weren’t the only chance to socialize. Conversation was lively even while students were in line, promoting community and fun at FIU. 

The hosts of the Mental Health and Wellness Resource Fair also made sure to make the event available to students that may not always be able to participate.

“There are a lot of activities during the daytime here in GC but not a lot later in the day for students who have evening classes,” LTA President Isabella Balbi Masso said. 

In fact, they’ll try to do more events so students can enjoy de-stressing throughout the semester. 

“We may make this a series of events and do something similar during midterms or finals where the stress is really high,” Santos said.

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