Manage stress with UA’s Counseling and Testing Center


George Dunlap

Graduate students, April Barnes (left) and Sharon Schwam (right) showing off their origami tulips.

By George Dunlap, Writer

Wednesday, March 2 marked the third day for The University of Akron’s Taking Care Week, and included activities focused on how to manage personal stress.

Matthew Altiere, psychologist at the UA’s Counseling and Testing Center, tossed out stress balls made out of a balloon and sand to students walking past the Student Union Piano Lounge.

“Students struggle to find time for their pleasures,” Altiere said. “In order to manage stress, students need to keep up on their work while also finding time for both friends and family.”

The Stress Management Fair consisted of ways to calm oneself down and relax. Students had the ability to make origami figures and stress balls, color pictures, and play board games with one another.

Arts and crafts such as coloring have a stress-reducing effect that can be useful to college students, and invoke calm and wellness while continuing to exercise the brain but in a less stressful and more enjoyable way.

Graduate students Sharon Schwam and April Barnes explained why this event attracted them.

“A lot of the time students get busy,” said Schwam. “Students need to take care of themselves and just do something that they love.”

“This event is a great stress reliever. It allows students to take their minds off of college,” Barnes said.

The crafts table was managed by Sara Reider Bennett, who gave helpful advice to stressed college students.

“Take care of your body properly and make sure that you are balancing parts of your life,” Bennett said. “Prioritize and pay attention to your feelings. Reevaluate your life and take some time to play with animals.”

Thursday, March 3, will have the counseling center’s “Taking Care of Others” event. Students are invited to join the event and make cards for Akron Children’s Hospital and play with therapy dogs from SUMMA WagTime.

Research shows that attending to other’s needs helps manage one’s own stress. UA’s counseling center is hoping to have a big turnout at Thursday’s event and is welcoming all who would like to participate in the fun and games. More information can be found here: