Emma Newman staff writer
Stress Less Week, which happens every year the week before finals, consisted of a variety of events from Dec. 9- 13. Organized by NormanAid, this week offered a daily stock of certain holiday-themed activities, from a snowflake ball to cookie decorating.
Every year, NormanAid hosts the week with certain annual activities. However, this year, a new tree-decorating activity was added to the agenda.
“We’ve made it a tradition to do the holiday party where Mr. Mead hands out candy to students, so we have some that are tradition but we try to do different lunch activities,” NormanAid adviser Ali Franks said.
This year, the week’s main event, the holiday party, was renamed as The Snowflake Ball. The event, which took place on Dec. 12, was a festive part that consisted of tree-decorating and hot chocolate.
Other activities included cookie decorating on Dec. 9, crafting on Dec. 10, a day to “chill” and relax on Dec. 11 and slime making on Dec. 13. In addition, the entire week was Pajama Week and every day NormanAid offered tea to students.
In preparation for the week, NormanAid students from periods five and six had to plan and create the activities.
“It’s a lot of little prep: the flyers, the decorating,” NormanAid counselor senior Sophia Mantville said. “We’ve got a bunch of posters around the school. We’re creating the ideas. Then, you just take it in small steps in the moment.”
In addition, the counselors worked with administration to get ready for the activities.
“We created the ideas, we created the snowflake festival, we created the crafting idea [and] we communicated with the administration to get it approved,” Mantville said.
The purpose of these activities is not just to help with finals: it is to create an environment in which people feel comfortable to attend NormanAid. By hosting this event, Franks hopes to spread awareness about NormanAid’s resources.
“It’s a way to remind students that kids can come in when it’s stressful, even if it’s just one time, even if it’s not an ongoing counseling but they just want to come in and talk about the pressures of school,” Franks said. “I think kids sometimes think that to come in here it has to be something big, but it could just be feeling anxious about a test.”
The main reason that NormanAid puts it on every year, though, is to help students with this “stressful” time of year.
“It’s a nice way to say, ‘Hey, we get it,’” Franks said. “You’re working really hard and we want to do something nice for you.”