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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

How President Cynthia Olivo plans to push away stress from FC students

Fullerton College’s quad transformed into a 4-day event in support of campus-wide fun and relaxation called “Mellow into Midterms.”
Pedro Saravia
“Mellow into Midterms” encouraged students to relieve stress prior to midterm exams. The event offered various activities from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5, 2023.

Rising stress from students is not exclusive to Fullerton College, as the overall mental health of students nationally has worsened in the past years. Studies done by the Healthy Minds Network have shown an increase of almost 5%, in depression rates, and a 7% increase in anxiety rates in the past three years.

Organized by President Cynthia Olivo, “Mellow into Midterms” took place in the heart of Fullerton College, the quad, to help students ease their stress as midterm exams approached from Monday, Oct. 2 to Thursday, Oct. 5.

Olivo said that students are more stressed at this point in the semester than any other. This information was gathered from faculty members speaking to the president at a meeting held in her office.“It was week six, you know, and I thought, wow, so the closer we get to midterms, I think the more stressed-out students are,” Olivo said.

Centered around a wall of festive well-wishes by students, the event offered a variety of activities for students to enjoy in-between their classes, or as a study break from the library.

“It was kind of out of nowhere, but like, it’s nice to see that they actually care,” said freshman Samantha Phomsopha.

Olivo said she was pleased upon the student response she observed. “I’ve seen one student… playing guitar by himself three weeks ago… and then last week he was out there with another electric guitar player and an acoustic guitar player, so three together, and there was a little crowd around him, ” said Olivo. “I really think it’s because we created this ambiance in the middle of the quad where people gather, and it’s like this point of activity.”

Some students enjoyed frisbee, others enjoyed table games such as Connect-Four, Jenga, Corn hole, and more. “I actually yelled out to one of the, I think, helpers, and then I asked him to toss a Frisbee towards us,” said sophomore Wesley Han. “It was really fun.”

Under the tents, rows of tables with not only FC programs for mental health, but blank coloring books, packs of crayons, and beads for bracelet creation greeted participants. These small gestures led to the sights and sounds in the quad consisting of smiles and laughter.

Crayons and coloring pages at Mellow into Midterms on Oct. 4, 2023 were meant to calm the nerves of students as they prepare for midterm exams. (Ciara Gonzalez)

“If you can find a moment to laugh and find joy, and I think, especially a sense of community… that should be the takeaway,” said Mindful Growth Initiative Co-Coordinator Sarah Kaump.

The college also continues to offer a variety of services in connection with “mindfulness,” through clubs, activities, and even classes that fulfill the “E”, Life-Long Learning and Self-Development requirement to transfer.

President Olivo said that there are other impacts on mental health aside from school, and FC’s resources intend to combat those stressors. “If you’re going through stress and it feels overwhelming, we have our Wellness Center and our psychologists. If you’re experiencing homelessness, we have our food pantry that provides other resources and support, and we partnered with a group called Pathways of Hope to provide those resources,” said Olivo.

Other programs offered for mental health support are Rad Care Tuesdays, Mindful Mondays and free counseling.

“Our job is to help find you resources and to really partner with you as you navigate your undergraduate college experience,” said Olivo.

If you missed “Mellow into Midterms,” Olivo said it will be back when final exams approach, at the end of this semester.

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About the Contributors
Bela Penn, Staff Reporter
Bela Penn is a staff reporter in her first semester at The Hornet. She enjoys reading, live music, and playing with her cat Ellie Blue. She hopes to one day become a published author.
Pedro Saravia, News Editor
Pedro Saravia is the News Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. He previously wrote for Inside Fullerton magazine. Pedro is a JACC award winning journalist for his work investigating Title IX issues at Fullerton College. Pedro enjoys going to the gym, playing and watching soccer, and hanging with his brother. He aspires to be a politics and sports reporter.
Ciara Gonzalez, Staff Reporter
Ciara Gonzalez is a staff reporter in her first semester at The Hornet. She likes to read, play with her dog Dino, and spend time with her friends and family. Her goals for the future are to get a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and work for a news organization as a reporter.

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