Finals week is in full force here at Bryn Mawr College, and the pressure is steadily increasing – one can see it in the empty pizza boxes that lie stacked upon one another in an overflowing trash bin, in the sunken eyes of students camping out in the library (now operating for 24 hours, 7 days a week!), in the frantic clacking of keyboards that signal an upcoming due date for a final paper. The stress is building, and the tension in the air is almost palpable – peaking at 9:20, 4:50, and 6:50, right before the start of exam periods.
So how did I deal with the stress? Well, if you asked me the same question last year, I ate pizza, played Tetris, and watched some Big Bang Theory.
But this year, I folded about twenty paper cranes.
Paper cranes have a long and varied history – I won’t bore you with my summary when there are much clearer and more interesting articles out there – but suffice to say, they are meant to bring good fortune. Legend has it that if a person folds a thousand paper cranes, they will be able to have one wish granted. Other variations say that the thousand cranes will bring good luck and prosperity to the individual.
This is a little bit off topic, but Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is an incredibly touching and well-written childrens’ book based off of a true story that centers around the legend of the Thousand Cranes and the tragedy caused by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. I would definitely recommend reading this book, as it is fairly short and easy to read.
Don’t know how to fold paper cranes? Don’t worry! There are plenty of youtube tutorials on how to build the bird – whether you want it to be able to flap its wings or whether you’d prefer the standing type. It’s never too late to learn – I myself folded my first paper crane about a month ago! Here’s the youtube video I used when learning. However, there are many different ways to arrive at the bird base (which shows up at about 2:51), so be sure to try out some different folding styles and discover which one feels the most comfortable for you.
If you haven’t done it before, go on, grab a piece of paper, and try it out! I’ll wait.
…so, you’ve folded your first paper crane! (Or you just skipped down) Anyways, crane-folding was my mode of de-stressing this finals period. There’s something almost therapeutic about carefully folding the lines, creasing each fold meticulously, bending the wings down, shaping the head, and finishing a beautiful paper crane.
There are many ways to decorate with paper cranes – however, the most popular thing to do is string them up and hang them up! This website offers plenty of creative ways to hang origami cranes around the house.
And here’s me with a few of the cranes I’ve folded while de-stressing (aka: procrastinating). It was lots of fun! Now, it’s back to studying for me…
Happy folding, everyone!