Students leave destress program ready to face finals

"Your Life's a Mess, Come De-Stress" was the catchy phrase implemented by the Geneseo Healthguards for their event last Friday night in the Union.

The Healthguards are a group of about 25 students who volunteer their time to educate students on safe sex, safe alcohol use, eating well on campus and stress management. Professional staff members from the Lauderdale Health and Counseling Center, aiming to help and guide students, train the Healthguards.

Upon entering the Union lobby, there was an immediate ambiance of happiness and carefree fun. Brightly covered tables accompanied with finger paints, Play-Doh, checkers, chess, coloring books and crayons, puzzles and stress balls were scattered throughout the lobby along with a large table full of free food and beverages, including hot chocolate. Free T-shirts were also distributed. Upstairs, there were three masseurs, self-hypnotist Gene Griffing and a Reiki practitioner.

"Reiki is energy therapy," said Mallory Howe, senior and co-coordinator for the Healthguards. Reiki consists of the use of the practitioners' hands and palms through which they can channel healing energy.

Steven Sanfilippo, a junior, often meditates to destress but went to the Union to find alternate ways of destressing, including Reiki.

"I had a massage which was pretty good, made a stress ball, and intend to do the Reiki," he said. "I did it [Reiki] last year and it was really relaxing."

Howe said this is the third year the group has help the event, and that this year they decided to hire an additional massage therapist because of long lines in past years.

"This has been a success in the past and every time we have these nights more and more students come," said Howe. "It makes me happy because students leave with a smile on their face."

Many students on Friday night did indeed have smiles on their faces. Adam Batt, junior, found the destress night very helpful because, "school is way too stressful. It's necessary that the college do things to help the students destress. I normally play video games [to destress] but this was a nice alternative to get students out of their rooms."

Students found the self-hypnosis very relaxing and beneficial. Rebecca Schafer, a sophomore, is another stressed student that went to the Union seeking tranquility and a break from life's demands.

Life as a first-semester freshman can be very stressful especially when put into a new environment and becoming acquainted with college-level work. Freshman Libby Bursley agreed that she is very stressed at this point in the semester because finals are approaching.

Additional programs offered throughout the year include Condom Casino, Alcohol Ups and Downs, Sex Jeopardy, the Wellness Expo and Mocktail Mania.