The end is near!

The end of another demanding school year that is. For some the Spring 2012 semester represents accomplishment, triumph and the end of a long journey towards turning their tassels. For others it marks the anti-climactic culmination of another year’s hard work, dedication and persistence with many more to go.

Even still the end is near and many campuses are ready to celebrate. Early summer is a busy time for students trying to stay focused and hold onto their sanity. Remaining diligent and focused to finish out the school year strongly is no easy task when the air is warm and the pressure is on. Distractions are everywhere, and the increased stress makes students very susceptible to them.

But distractions aren’t all bad. They can be a time to release stress, anger, frustration and regain the motivation needed to continue on.

It seems that many universities would agree that May is a good time for a little celebration and recreation. Many campuses offer end of the year festivities to their weary attendees, staff and alumni.

Student film festivals, art exhibits and gallery openings are a staple on many university campuses. This week the University of California Los Angeles concluded its Shorttakes Student Film Festival which offered screenings of student films and refreshments. Laguna College of Art and Design is opening their MFA Thesis Exhibition this weekend, which will showcase the final projects for all graduating seniors in an array of mediums. The showcase will run from May 19th– June 12.

Some campuses take the festivities further with more ornate experiences.

Friday, May 18th the University of California San Diego held their annual Sun God Festival with music headliners, comedy acts and other performances spread across three different stages. Admission to the event was free for undergrad students and $60 for guests, staff and alumni. As if free admission wasn’t tempting enough, the campus shuttle hours were even extended for the event to promote safe partying habits and easy accessibility for off campus residents.

Cost: high. Educational value: minimal. Morale: high.

From the usual to the extravagant, it seems that educators realize the value of a well-orchestrated disruption from the usual campus stresses.