Students Unwind at NHS De-Stress Fest


Students make bracelets at the gimp station. (Source: Andrew Lay (II))

By Olivia Chen (V), Staff Writer

On May 26, the National Honor Society (NHS) held their first De-Stress Fest to give back to the Boston Latin School community as well as to allow students to socialize and relax before final exams.

This event presented a variety of activities, booths, games and performances in the dining hall. Booth offerings included coloring, face painting, karaoke, trivia, CD art and origami.

Although the 2019-2020 officers originally developed the idea, this was the first year that NHS held this event. Due to COVID-19 and remote learning, it could not happen until this year. BLS Classics teacher and NHS advisor Mr. Patrick Finnigan explains, “When our officers were elected this year, I brought up the idea to them at our first monthly officer meeting, and I was so excited that they all were on board and eager to make it happen.”

The planning process went smoothly. In addition to general meetings with the officers, Mr. Finnigan and volunteers from each of the three specific committees –– Activities, Decorations and Food Sponsorships –– also held frequent meetings.

All three groups had specialized jobs. The activities group developed their own booths, decoration volunteers created designs on their own time and volunteers in charge of food called and visited restaurants for donations.

There were, however, still a few hiccups in the preparation process. Communication posed a challenge to the officers. NHS Vice President Ada Wu (I) explains, “We’ve recruited over 100 NHS members to assist with the De-Stress Fest, and oftentimes large-scale communication with members can get difficult, especially with everyone being busy and not having the time to carefully read emails.”

Since the event and planning took place at the end of the year, it was also difficult to find time for it. Most students were busy preparing for their AP exams and finals, attending extracurricular activities and applying to summer jobs. Despite students’ tight schedules, everyone involved dedicated many hours to make the event happen.

The theme of the De-Stress Fest was “The Year 2000,” a style based on late ‘90s to early 2000s trends. Jane Kungie (II), a participant in the event, says, “I think that the 2000s subculture is something that really has not been a huge thing recently, but bringing it back to the​​ Sillybandz is something I appreciate.”

Many staff members, volunteers and students attended the event. Students met new people and socialized with their friends while playing board games and making crafts together. The festival was also the last chance to spend time with seniors on their final day of academic classes.

Although many believed the event successfully reached its goal to offer students a time and place to relax, some students have ideas for future improvement. Zoe Fulton (II), a volunteer at the origami booth, suggests, “I think it would be a lot more de-stressing if it happened on the lawn at the back [of the school] because, for me, I think that fluorescent lights, and just the school in general, it’s kind of stress-inducing.”

The De-Stress Fest, a product of teamwork, perseverance and effort, has been a remarkable experience for many people. Wu reflects on a memorable moment: “I saw a few volunteers working on decorations out of the blue in the Art Wing. It was a wholesome moment just seeing everything piece together with all this collective effort. Some friends popped out to help out as well even if it was not their original purpose for being in the Art Wing.”