Students popped bubble wrap, colored pictures and received massages at ChillFest on Wednesday in the Texas Union ballroom.
ChillFest is a free event which hosts different stress-relieving activities that students can participate in, including getting a massage, playing with therapy dogs and listening to Christmas music to wind down during the final week of classes and the start of final exams.
“We want to make sure people remain calm during these stressful times,” radio-television-film junior Sean Rose said. “I, myself, have two finals tomorrow, so we try to pick the one day where people have the least amount.”
According to Rose, the recreation committee of Campus Events and Entertainment started ChillFest a year ago, and over 1,400 attended this semester’s event.
“We’ve already surpassed that for this ChillFest,” electrical engineering senior Nick Engmann. “I believe that the growth this year is mainly due to advertising. We got our word out through Twitter contests as well.”
Engmann said ChillFest persists as one of the largest events put on by the recreation committee, and he hopes that students’ evaluations will provide more insight on how they can improve the event for next semester.
“I would gladly like to look at the some of the students’ responses and see what they would like,” Engmann said. “Depending on the suggestions that people have, we always change our events due to that.”
Journalism freshman Clara Duffy said she enjoyed the activities at ChillFest and will return next semester.
“There’s physical stress-relievers like the massages and the bubble wrap, and then there’s coloring and Legos, which is just a cool way to get your mind off studying,” Duffy said.
Heather Finnegan, English sophomore and committee member, said the committee has brought back the massages, bubble wrap and coloring because they remain the most popular activities for students.
Engmann emphasized the importance of taking breaks in order to deal with the stress of studying for exams.
“Stress is something that all students on campus deal with,” Engmann said. “Events like ChillFest are one of the main reasons we hold it for the students on campus. If they can’t find the time, they should definitely research into other stress-relieving things. You can’t let it all get built up inside you. It’ll just make studying for finals and the whole experience worse.”