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The UH Wellness mission is to help UH students navigate their mental, sexual and physical health journeys. Every Wednesday, the UH Wellness center will be hosting activities to help students relax, destress and feel closer to fellow Coogs. Up first, a day to decorate photo frames. Here’s how it went. 

Upon arriving, I was greeted by an open door and a sign advertising all upcoming events. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

Upon entering, friendly student workers guided me to a counter set up with paints and frames. I collected some primary colors and a small mountain of glitter, then chose a seat at the u-shaped collection of tables. 

There wasn’t a lot to work with, but I did have a surprisingly high-quality craft frame as a canvas. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

For my project, I worked the paint into an ombre, black to blue, switching from mixed purple glitter to gold glitter as the hombre lightened. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

While I worked, I was happy to make friends. The young lady to my left was an English major, and the young man to my right was studying business. Both were looking for a break from classes, and actually enjoyed the relief the small craft provided very much. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

The business major was eager to learn more about the wellness center. He, like me, hadn’t even known it existed. He actually walked to the Rec first before a staff member redirected him across the street. 

Although both were thriving in their majors, they expressed feelings of loneliness when not in class and in the mood to do something fun. Clubs are an option, but not always easy to fit into a busy class schedule. The young lady mentioned she was in an ASL club but, since it was online, it left her feeling as disconnected as everything else. Participating in events like this is a great way to destress for a bit and also occasionally make a friend. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

Upon completing my frame, the Wellness Center staff had me email them a photo (I chose one of me and one of my friend groups unironically enjoying dinner at Chili’s), and they printed it out of a little photo machine. Then I stuck the photo in my frame, said goodbye to my new friends, and headed back to my cubicle. 

Photo by Cynthia Isabella Zelaya Ordoñez

Gülden Esat, a doctoral candidate/graduate assistant at the Wellness Center, was excited to hear each student that told her they’d enjoyed the activity. There is a survey to fill out at the end of the activity, and every response counts when considering which direction to take the Wellness Center in next. 

If you can, I highly encourage you to take some time out of your Wednesday to visit the wellness center and partake in their activity of the week. First of all, it’s fun, and I can tell you from personal experience that the activity will make you feel better. Also, this is a very cool thing UH Wellness is doing, and it’s not the only project they’ve undertaken. It breaks my heart to see barren walls in a hidden center most students seem to not know about. More traffic and registration for activities will show the university there is a need and interest for UH Wellness and similar services, and may divert more funding to their causes. 

Cynthia is the assistant editor for Cooglife magazine, and is a graduate student

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