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A break from stress

Students take a breather before exams and holidays hit

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  • Story and photos by Shane Epping
  • Published: Dec. 10, 2007
Student completes a gingerbread house

Students find ways to reduce stress before finals week. Above, junior Caroline Fris, a regular at Mizzou After Dark events, completes a gingerbread house to give to a friend. Below, freshman Alicen Irby belts out a karaoke version of Tina Turner's "Proud Mary."

Student singing

It’s that time of year again. All-nighters. Exams. Papers. Caffeine. The culmination of an entire semester is upon university students. But before a famine of fun ensues during finals week, Mizzou After Dark (MAD) offered up a smorgasbord fit to feed most anyone’s hunger for entertainment and stress-free activities at “Winter Extravaganza.”

Freshmen Devin Woodson and Alicen Irby adopted their karaoke characters, Ike and Tina Turner, with confidence. Irby belted out “Proud Mary” with vulnerable vocals as Woodson stared her down with furrowed brow. Background dancers shivered. Audience members cheered. In an adjoining room, fellow undergraduates sat in relative darkness and received massages.

Friday night MAD gatherings, always alcohol-free and run by students, vary in theme from week to week. Of this Friday before finals, in addition to karaoke and massages, de-stressing activities included wrapping gifts, making gingerbread houses, playing bingo and performing yoga.

“This is one of the last times students will see their friends before fall semester ends and a five-week break follows,” said Erika Breedlove, a yoga instructor, in earshot of Tina and Ike’s performance. “Ahh, to be a freshman in college again.”

Read more in:  On CampusArts & Culture

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Last updated: Feb. 22, 2012