Coloring With Counselors Offers a New Den Option

Carlie Morgan, Reporter

In the midst of the most stressful period of the year, junior Amelia Vidrine saw a need for a reprieve for the students of Cedar Park High School. Coloring with Counselors is a new Den option, headed by Vidrine, which consists of just what the name promises; coloring books and counselors.

“Usually we get there and our sponsor, Mrs. Hollander, has some soft music playing,” Vidrine said. “We have a really big table that has a bunch of coloring books and colored pencils on it so you can go and pick which sheet you want to color. If you’d been there the week before you can resume something you’ve already started or start a new one.”

The Den is technology-free, meaning all students must sacrifice their phones for the duration of the period. According to Vidrine this is a way to prevent outside stress factors from influencing students during this time.

“We don’t use phones while we’re in there unless it’s listening to music,” Coloring with Counselors sponsor, Christina Hollander said. “I think the break from technology has been good. We sometimes just literally lay around with coloring books, and I think it’s been beneficial to the student body.”

The idea for Coloring With Counselors was proposed by Vidrine after she heard about some college campuses doing something similar during finals week as a stress reliever. She implemented the idea at CPHS by talking to Hollander about a growing concern of hers.

“In light of recent events that have been happening at our school I could tell a lot of my friends and a lot of students in general were struggling with mental health issues and in general so I thought, ‘here’s an idea,’” Vidrine said. “We’re using it to help students take a break from all the stress going on in their life just because you can tell a lot of students are dealing with depression and anxiety and coloring is a proven way to destress because you can just focus on doing something.”

Students have begun attending these Den sessions as a way to take a break from the stress school puts on them. According to junior Grace Allen, the environment of Coloring With Counselors has been a significant factor in the decision to attend.

“I thought it was a really cool idea,” Allen said. “I liked that the counselors had created a stress-free environment for students during Den time, where they could just hang out and color with each other.”

This special Den takes place on Wednesdays and is open to anyone wanting to destress. Coloring books and pencils are provided in a safe, homework-free environment where students are free to take a break from their daily lives.

“You put your phone and your homework and whatever else you have away and you don’t worry about whatever is outside that room,” Vidrine said. “You just sit and color and listen to music and have a good time.”