Carnival Leads to Decrease in Depression Rates for Students


By Deanna Honett

A carnival took place on campus at the Veterans Plaza on Wednesday, April 27. All students were encouraged to attend the event that lucked out with having a beautiful sunny day. The event gave away free carnival snacks, such as churros, pretzels, and cotton candy, while also holding interactive carnival games such as target practice or mind games, giving students the opportunity to win prizes. The carnival successfully brought many members of our student body together at the Veterans Plaza in the middle of their busy Wednesday schedules.

Carnival at the Veterans Plaza at at SCCC on 4.27.16

Carnival at the Veterans Plaza at at SCCC on 4.27.16

 

The carnival started at 11:00am and ran until about 12:15pm, allowing most students the opportunity to attend if they wished. This time frame takes place during common hour, which is for most students the free time in their schedule in between classes. The time allowed students the opportunity to enjoy the carnival during their breaks, letting them momentarily step away from their studies in order to unwind and release stress with the helpful distractions of food, games, and laughter.

Carnival at Veterans Plaza at SCCC on 4.27.16

Carnival at Veterans Plaza at SCCC on 4.27.16

 

The end of the semester is always filled with high volumes of workload and stress levels for students. When students become overwhelmingly busy this will often lead to forgetting the importance of balancing their highly stressful work levels with breaks. Without taking a break a student is increasing the chances of becoming consumed by negative emotions, such as stress or anxiety, which can lead to the negative side effects of depression, anxiety attacks, and a health decrease. Many college students show symptoms of either having depression or at high risk of developing depression during the last month of school.

 

Depression is a complex disease because it has not yet been discovered what the exact causes are. Depression can come from many different factors that occur in a person’s life, making it hard to peg all the different causes since their is many different ways that do not connect to one another. Some main causes of depression come from conflicts and other personal problems. A person’s biological make up can cause them to become vulnerable and so more at risk and exposed to the possible development of depression. People who have this biological make up can triggering the depression from a main cause, like conflicts. Conflicts can include not being able to find the time to do work by a certain deadlines or conflicts of feeling unable to balance completing school work with a job and a social life. These are common conflicts that a majority  students must deal with often. These conflicts with time management increase during the end of the semester as students have high volumes of work with less time, showing the high risk many students face for becoming depressed.

 

Lacking time to do all the things required from ones list of responsibilities can also lead to social isolation. Students react to the overwhelming amounts of work by locking themselves up in library’s as they try to get a grip on everything. This puts hanging out with friends or participating in outlets that release stress at the bottom of their priority lists as they struggle to succeed. The hours spent alone increase dramatically during finals time when compared to how much time a student spends alone for the rest of the year. Students become overwhelmingly concerned with finishing and receiving high grades that they do not realize the isolation that has taken place in the process. Isolation from a social life is one of the main factors that when mixed with certain biological make-ups will lead to depression for many from the high risks. Students that isolate themselves with intentions of doing this to help are unintentionally causing possible harm if they are not careful.

 

Isolation being one of the few known high risk factors that increase the chance of developing depression shows that having a carnival at the Veterans Plaza, which is next to the library, is a great way to decrease our student bodies’ chances of developing depression. This is because many students during the end of the semester spent countless hours constantly heading to the library and causing unintentional isolation from others but putting a carnival in their path encourages them to take a break to reduce their stress levels. The location allows student to break away from the confinement of the library walls momentarily as they release some stress while playing games, eating carnival foods, and interacting with other students in a fun and positive atmosphere. The timing of the carnival works well for it not only takes place during most students’ breaks but is also located in an area most students are walking by. Whether students are walking to the library or cafeteria, they are passing through the carnival and having the option to take a moment to stop and enjoy it. This helps capture students by targeting their curiosity too. Students will want to know what is happening and take time to stop and find out since it is not out of the way for them to do so. Location plays an important role here. Students would not have been so inclined to stop by a carnival that was out of the way and inconvenient.

 

Danielle Barclay is a current full time student that reacted to the site of the carnival by saying, “I have no idea what is going on here, but I intend to find out.”

 

The location allured students that were walking past with goals of heading to classes, stopping at the library to print or study, or heading to their cars. This event made them stop the hectic rat race they have become swallowed up in and even take a few moments to enjoy the event. If the carnival was held at a different time and location that was not so highly populated with traffic of students it seems that the carnival would not have been as successful. Students who are already struggling to balance their time will most likely not go out of there way to enjoy a carnival on a Wednesday. The carnival was available as easy access, allowing students to stop by and enjoy without any major commitments, like having to travel a down a path that was out of the way and therefore more time consuming in their already packed out schedules.

 

Kimberly Dietz is another full time student here at our school that described her encounter passing the carnival as “lucky I decided to head to class early. I was able to stop and eat a free churro and pretzel, which was awesome. Plus I was up all night writing an essay and didn’t even realize how hungry I was until I smelt the food.”

Kimberly Dietz at the SCCC carnival on 4.27.16

Kimberly Dietz at the SCCC carnival on 4.27.16

The carnival successfully brightened many students day that Wednesday. It made many feel rejuvenated as they ate some snacks and enjoyed interacting with other students for a moment, allowing them to forget the stress that comes with the approaching semesters end. The student body here at Suffolk is a group of hard working, talented, and dedicated individuals that will succeed in whatever path they set their minds too. It is okay for students to feel stressed, but their needs to be a balance of hard work with an understanding of how to handle the overwhelming feelings that can follow. An example being taking a moment to break away from your work momentarily to recharge your battery and interact with others because it is proven to decrease many negative risk, such as depression.

 

If a student ever becomes overwhelmed to the point of feeling like you can no longer  handle it than the students should know we not only have a great staff of professors to confide in. They can also contact our counseling staff, such as our mental health counselor Sarah Boles if they wish to discuss further and in more depth about the topic. She can be contacted by email at boless@sunysuffolk.edu, so for anyone with more questions or concerns knows a place to connect to for help.

Veterans Plaza at SCCC on 4.27.16

Veterans Plaza at SCCC on 4.27.16

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