“Color Me Calm” provides oasis for stressed students

NATALIE MOONEY
Guest Writer
mooneynr@plu.edu

Posters advertising the Diversity Center’s new activity hang all around the UC, but what is “Color Me Calm” really about?
In partnership with the Counseling Center, the Diversity Center is putting on a new event called “Color Me Calm.” Every Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students can come in to the Diversity Center in the lower level of Anderson University Center and color pictures to de-stress.

This event is open to all students and is meant to be inclusive, social and enjoyable.

There isn’t much structure to the event, other than the effort to take stress away from students through coloring. It serves as a social yet relaxing time for students.

“Over the last year, adult coloring books became very popular on Amazon and in the news,” Joanne Ito, director and senior psychologist of the Counseling Center said.

I too was inspired by this concept and brought the idea to Diversity Center Assistant Vice President, Angie Hambrick. Hambrick then implemented the idea and turned it into a weekly event.

“Coloring allows people to focus and uses different parts of the brain than academic classes [use],” Ito said.

While coloring may seem like a juvenile activity, it has actually become very trendy among adults.
Websites are now offering free “stylish” and “zen” coloring pages. Even Barnes & Noble is selling adult coloring books complete with intricate designs and patterns.

It is a stress relieving activity, and it is also easy artwork for those who do not consider themselves to be artistically inclined.

“Sometimes we color in quiet, other times it is a great way to meet new people and check in how people’s days are going,” Nicole Juliano, Assistant Director of the Diversity Center said.

While the event is scheduled for every Monday, the coloring materials are usually left out all week. Students are allowed to come in whenever they want.

The Diversity Center provides coloring materials as well as printouts of coloring pages to students for free. Students can take their artwork home or leave it there for the Diversity Center to hang up in the office. There are even folders available to students to leave their unfinished work which they can come back to work on anytime.
Students who are stressed are encouraged to pop into the Diversity Center and color the anxiety away.

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