Making space for Reflection

Andrew Stez

Nature Allows for Relaxation from Stress of Finals

At Gasworks, the normal crowds of people stood around admiring the Seattle skyline, as Ashton Hall residents played games, read books and relaxed, basking in the rare sunny day in Seattle.

Ashton students brought their games to Gas Works Park. Jacky Chen | The Falcon

On Sunday, May 19, Ashton’s Hall Council put on the “Ashton Goes to Gasworks” event that gave Ashton residents the opportunity to hang out with other hall members by playing games like Spikeball, Frisbee and football; sitting in the sun on blankets to chat and read; or eat snacks together.

This event gave residents a break from the impending stress of finals and the opportunity to reminisce on the past year.

“We really wanted to take advantage of the really great weather for spring quarter and wanted a chill environment for people to come and go,” sophomore and Ashton Hall Council President Natasha Koval said.

Being in a natural environment away from school life was purposeful, in order to give people a chance to get away from the stress prevalent on campus.

“The year is gearing up so I know it can get hard to pull away,” said Alyssa Sheeres, Ashton Hall Council’s public relations director.

“We want there to be a space and kind of a reminder to people to take a break for yourself. Take a couple hours to go to the park and then come back.”

This escape from the reality of school work was only amplified by the statements of those who attended the event, like freshman Emma Lamping, who spent her time at the event hanging out and playing games with friends.

“I think for me whenever I am on campus I really associate it with school life and school life can be really stressful especially since we are so close to finals,” said Lamping.

“Separating that school mentality and that stress and moving somewhere else where we’re with nature and with other people and beautiful scenery, it is a different way for us to unload and spend time together without thinking about school.”

The event also gave students an opportunity to reflect back on the year they have had in their hall and look towards the future towards what is in store for them when they either return to campus in the fall or leave Seattle Pacific University upon graduation.

“I just hope they look back on the year with a sense of fondness and a sense of growth,” Sheeres said.

This goes back to the mission of residence life that is commonly echoed at many of these events: fostering community.

Students enjoy a picnic at Gas Works Park. Jacky Chen | The Falcon

“We can continue to build community no matter what time of year it is,” Sheeres said. “You can always be making better bonding relationships with your hallmates, but also celebrating those you have made this year.”

“Ashton Goes to Gasworks” continued this ongoing mission that does not end with the school year, as students’ memories of their time in Ashton and the people they met will continue.

This sentiment is echoed by Sheeres’ own memories of her time in Ashton as a freshman and her hope for others in the hall.

“I know for me, I look back at my first year and am just so happy about the difficulties I had to go through and also the joyous moments as well, grateful for both because I think I grew so much,” Sheeres said.