By Alex Tompkins —

It’s the beginning of the semester and for most students it can be one of the most stressful parts of the academic year. With it comes adjusting to a new schedule, new classes, new responsibilities and a new year with goals.The University of Louisville’s Porter Scholars hosted the first Healthy Happy Hour at the Cultural Center Jan. 15 to help students adjust.

The three-hour event dedicated itself to promoting ways to de-stress and focus on students’ mental health. 

“We know that college is very stressful for students. In the wintertime, a lot of people battle seasonal depression too, so we wanted to give students different tools and tips for self-care and practicing stress-free habits,” Asya Bell, one of the Porter Scholars hosting Healthy Happy Hour, said.

The event had several stations that included: make-your-own stress balls, sugar scrubs and a vision board for students to write down goals and tips they have for themselves this year. Health Promotions also provided pamphlets students could use to follow de-stressing habits throughout the winter season. 

On top of the seasonal change, many students are already feeling the weight of starting another semester and the stress that comes along with it.

“It’s only the second week of classes, and I’m already going through it,” said senior Shannon Derkson, who wanted to attend the event to give herself some time to de-stress in the midst of her school day. 

What made this event was the low-key, personal environment. Healthy Happy Hour occurred during the day, allowing students to come and go in-between classes.

Bell says this won’t be the last event and to look out for another taking place later this semester and next year.

In the meantime, Bell gave suggestions for students to relax. “Take things one day at a time. Stay organized. In college, we get overwhelmed and tend to procrastinate, and being organized can help prevent some of this stress. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.” 

Photo by Alex Tompkins // The Louisville Cardinal