Abby Atim

Staff Reporter

6 June, 2022

On Wednesday, April 27th Atholton students gathered to celebrate Stress-Less Day. Just as the name implies, it was a classwork-free, activity-filled day for students to ease their minds off the stress of schoolwork.
Arranged by Be The Change, Bully-Free Forever, Alpha Achievers, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and Principal Advisory Committee, the day allowed students to choose four activities. Ranging from cookie decorating, quiet reading, and even a variety of video games, the activities were to be created to replace classwork.
With upcoming finals and AP exams for students, more pressure than ever is being added to the already heavy workload of the third quarter. Many students find themselves lacking the time to give their brains an academic break during the school week. Over 4 weeks of extensive planning and organizing, four Atholton student-run groups planned the StressLess Day. This year was the first year of hopefully many years to come.

“We hope that everyone just feels a bit less stressed at least for one day because recently, students have had so many things to worry about,”

Julia Ballou, a member of the Be the Change Club

“Since I know many students are super stressed out about school, they can hopefully use this day as a rest by taking their mind off academics for a little bit.”
During Stress Less Day, students and teachers were split into groups determined by the activities they signed up for on the Google Form. Locations were written on a spreadsheet sent through Canvas in the morning. Students enjoyed the day in different places; some spent it in quiet relaxing environments, while others students spent their day in boisterous rooms where sitting down was rare.
“I think my classes were fun because I was mostly in the reading room and quiet time. I’m not sure if people were exactly having fun that I could observe,” said Mrs. Brauer, a health teacher. “But people had a relaxing experience and got a lot of work done plus I observed students having fun when they were playing board games.”
Contrasting those rooms, some of the activities that had students loud and packed were the talent show/ karaoke in the auditorium, the weightlifting room, and the video game trailer outside. “It was fun, some of the seniors showed me how to work the machines,” said Nahome Getachew, a sophomore. “Everything was used fairly despite the vast number of people in there.”
Although a good majority of students enjoyed this day, many had contrasting experiences and didn’t enjoy the day. “I didn’t have any fun and it was very difficult to navigate to our classrooms for activities,” said Caitlyn Faustin, a sophomore. “Although teachers managed the classrooms well with the given instructions and materials, they should’ve organized schedules better.”
Teachers who also shared this poor experience even gave suggestions on how the day could be improved for next year, “Wandering around in hallways should’ve been an official activity since many did it anyway,” recommended Brauer. “Although, I do think teachers managed to the best of their abilities with the advance notices given.”
This is Atholton’s first year having a rest day like this, as the 3-hour early dismissals are the newest modification to the HCPSS academic calendar since November 2nd, 2021.
After observing how the day was spent with students, most thought it went relatively smoothly. Although there were a few rough patches, “with some better planning skills this can easily be improved for next year,” said Ballou. “and we would consider doing it again.”

Posted by Jordan Neperud

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