Classes End with Stepsinging, and Reading Period Begins with “Take a Break”

May 5, 2017
Classes End with Stepsinging, and Reading Period Begins with “Take a Break”

Since the dedication of Houghton Chapel 118 years ago, Wellesley tradition has brought students together on the Houghton steps in class colors to out-sing and out-cheer each other. Stepsinging bookends the academic year; the gathering on May 4 denoted the last day of classes for the spring, and a Champagne toast to the seniors honored their last days of classes at Wellesley.

Students will now transition into reading period—the few days after classes end and before finals begin—which can be a stressful time for any student. That’s why Wellesley’s Wellness Outreach Collaborative, a joint effort of Health Services, PERA, Stone Center Counseling, the Office of Student Involvement, Wellesley Fresh, and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, has created a “Take a Break” calendar that features study breaks throughout each day during reading period and finals.

All the activities on the Take a Break calendar center around the core principles of the Wellness Outreach Collaborative: nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress resiliency (aka Well-N.E.S.St.), which combine healthy snacks, exercise, and stress-management tools.

Many perennial favorites are on the calendar, including visits from therapy dogs, pool games and log rolling at the Keohane Sports Center pool, and massages in the Science Center.

Other finals week traditions that have become student favorites are the Moonlight Breakfast, happening this year in both Bates and the Lulu. The late-night chance to refuel with delicious breakfast food often attracts Residential Life staff and professors who volunteer to participate. This year, the breakfast is paired with other DIY stress-reduction activities: make-your-own lavender heating pads in Bates and make-your-own infused water in Lulu.

The Take a Break events also offer students a chance to get out of the library and study in new spaces with different communities. The Davis Museum will host a study session in its gallery space (crafts and snacks are provided). The Office of Religious and Spiritual life is reprising its Conscious Café—an opportunity to study in the Houghton Multifaith Center with breaks every hour for guided relaxation, meditation, and stress relief.

Katharine Mallery ’17 contributed to this story.