The Upcycle Fair and Beating Finals Stress
How Creative Groups of Students and Staff are Coming Together to Help Each Other Through Finals Time
by Ryan Lawrance McGreer
Beat the Stress Week is a quarterly event that takes place each term before finals, where the identity centers on campus and ASPCC put together events to help students prioritize wellness and self-care in the potentially overwhelming time leading up to the last week of term.
Madi Lattanzi has organized the Sylvania Environmental Center’s Upcycle Fair event for the past year and a half, but it has been running since the Environmental Center’s inception. In collaboration with the Makerlab, they provide an area for students to create some upcycled crafts, taking home a unique hand-made memory and learning a thing or two about reusing materials in the process.
“We’re promoting self-care without relying on giving up financial stability—upcycling is a way to take care of the planet while also taking care of yourself or giving to a loved one. We live in a society where self-care is of a very capitalist mindset… instead of buying something to make yourself feel better, maybe it would be better to learn if there’s a homemade alternative.”
“Students come up that have been there before, with stories of still having their plant from the previous term and that’s really touching. A lot of people will come up to me worried about the care that goes into a plant… unsure what to do, in the past they’d let things die, some pretty tragic stories… but more and more each term students have come to me saying ‘wow, I still have this little buddy and they’re doing great and I want another,’ and they create this little plant family—they learn that they do have the capability to take care of something outside of themself, and themself as well.”
Amy Petit, director of the Makerlab at Sylvania adds: “It’s such a pleasure to be involved in creating activities that give students a chance to have some fun, learn something new, and be introduced to the resources the MakerLab has to o er. I really appreciate that these events are available to students frequently and that Madi and the Environmental Center are so proactive in making sure that they happen. Self-care is so important in times of stress and taking time to create something can be a very healing and satisfying way to practice that.”
While finals week will hold something different for every student, it’s important to explore methods of self-care, and in this case find something they can learn from and experience for some time to come.
In addition to the projects offered by the Environmental Center and Makerlab on 3/11 and 3/12, events will be happening all around the campus centers and commons buildings all week.