As the semester comes to an end, finals week starts to quickly approach. With the heavy workload of projects, homework and study guides, it's no surprise that students are beginning to become overwhelmed with stress.

On Wednesday, students will have a chance to relieve their end-of-the-semester stress at UCF's first Stress Less Fest.

The free carnival-themed event will be held by Active Minds at UCF on Memory Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where anyone is welcome to enjoy themselves in the stress-free environment.

Kyle Mullen, a senior psychology major, advises UCF students, faculty and alumni to help raise awareness of stress, which can ultimately lower grades, mood and general life satisfaction in several different ways.

"Stress Less Fest is meant to help students deal with stress before finals, raise awareness about stress and anxiety disorders and create a supportive community where speaking about struggles is a sign of strength and self-awareness," Mullen said.

The event is being organized by Active Minds at UCF, an RSO that fights the stigma of mental health and promotes mentally healthy lifestyles.

Though this event has been hosted at other colleges, this is the first time it is being brought to UCF.

Mullen said the fest was made possible by William Butler, the previous president for Active Minds at UCF. Butler applied for and received a Stress Less Fest grant so a top-quality event could be put together for everyone at UCF.

As the current treasurer for Active Minds at UCF, Mullen said there will be a plethora of activities and goodies to help everyone practice stress-relieving techniques, such as laughing, before finals week.

There will be tables and tents with face painting, therapy dogs, hand-made stress balls, balloon animals and goodie bags, according to the event's Facebook page.

Stress Less Fest was first put together by Active Minds, a national non-profit organization, which came up with the phrases "stress less" and "laugh more."


Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at

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