Miami’s Residence Hall Association hosted creative activities last week in an attempt to help students ease the stress of midterms. From making hand-crafted bracelets to creative, yet complex paper cranes, these activities proved to make those who participated forget about their midterm studying. However, I don’t know if it helped me relieve any stress.

RHA’s held its activities from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20 throughout Armstrong. On Tuesday, I joined RHA’s exciting spirits and took on the task of making effortless paper cranes and learning different Japanese-oriented origami techniques.

But who knew mastering origami for the first time could be so difficult? It proved to be stressful to anyone who was a beginner — their hopes of it turning out perfect would soon be crumbled. My hopes were crushed with the look of the crinkles and distorted wings of my lifeless paper crane.

RHA’s advocacy director, Anastasia Nelson, and programming director, Emily Myers were more than open to sharing some of their origami tips and skills with me. It’s hard to believe that a paper crane is only for beginners, so despite their help I still had a difficult time creating this paper crane.

It had me sweating bullets as I tried comparing it to Emily’s more advanced and eloquent paper crane. Frustration arose on my part, but only because whenever I would fold a new flap in the process, I realized it was the wrong flap — therefore, another crinkle in my hopeless paper crane.

The funny thing is that this was causing the same amount of stress as studying for one of my midterm exams. All I wanted was for my paper crane to look like a paper crane, and I did not want to feel like a damsel in distress. But, of course, I did.

I did not want to finish my paper crane — it looked like an utterly troubled mess. One flap was facing left while the other was totally absent. My crinkled wings were disastrous compared to everyone else.

Was this what the midterm was going to be like? Was I going to feel hopeless and like a lost cause?

As I tried fixing my crinkled wing, I suddenly saw a glimmer of hope, a spark of inspiration, a light at the end of the tunnel. It was Emily’s paper crane tattoo.

It was done so precisely, yet had a witty spin on it. I saw that one of her tattoo’s wings looked almost as crooked as mine. In that moment, I realized the process of making this paper crane was more stressful than what the end result warranted, and sometimes it is about the journey rather than the outcome.

Yes, my paper crane was not as perfect as Anastasia’s and Emily’s, but it definitely had character.

It was bent out of shape, but it was my paper crane. The reassurance I was looking for was in the rips and creases of my wings. I proudly took my paper crane to my next destination, the library where I desperately needed to study for my upcoming Media and Culture exam.

rober193@miamioh.edu

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