The three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are filled with late-night study sessions and never ending assignments. Therefore, in order to relieve the stress of finals week, you can participate in various annual activities put on by Bates’ Active Minds club and the Office of Campus Life.

Bates’ Active Minds chapter is part of a national organization that was created “to fight the stigma surrounding disability and mental illness by raising awareness and fostering dialogue about such differences,” according to its Facebook page.

Usually at this time of year, the Bates’ club facilitates a “Mental Health Week,” with activities and events spread out throughout a whole week. However, this year, according to Azure Reid-Russell, the club leader, “we hoped to increase our attendance by compressing the whole week into a few hours.” Thus, they created the Self-Care Fair, which occurred on December 2nd, from 3 to 6 pm, in the Fireplace Lounge.

The successful Self-Care Fair intermixed fun, calming activities with relevant information on maintaining one’s mental health during a stressful time. The event included performances from acapella groups The Merimanders and TakeNote, as well as The Strange Bedfellows, and the Mount David String Band.

Tara Humphries, a Multifaith fellow at the Multifaith Chaplaincy, led a mindfulness and meditation workshop and students were educated about stress relief techniques. Lastly, members of the Student Support Network and Psychological Services helped students learn about available mental health resources. The club also provided baked goods, tea, coloring books, and music.

The Office of Campus Life will also once again host a variety of study-break activities in the upcoming weeks. December 8th’s VCS concert will be a faculty and student showcase at 9 pm in the Benjamin Mays Center. The following night, from 9 to 11 pm, Student Government is hosting a dodgeball tournament in the Gray Cage.

Perhaps the most well-known finals week event is the Campus Life Study Break which occurs on Reading Day, December 12th, in the Chase Hall from 7 to 10 pm. According to the Office of Campus Life, it “has been a popular event just prior to finals. Last year there were stress puppies, snow-cones, a bouncy house and various other craft activities.” Stop by for five minutes or stay for hours!

Mariam Hayrapetyan ‘19 is especially excited about the puppies. She exclaims that she “hopes the same dogs are there that were last year. One of the puppies was especially cute. Her name was Tilly!”

To find a complete list of December Campus Life activities, you can visit http://www.bates.edu/campus/events/this-months-events/. For more information on the Active Minds club, follow them on Facebook at Active Minds at Bates College.