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The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Putting it all together: Puzzle mania with the Wickiup Hall residents

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Serena Zohbe Garcia
The Wickiup Hall resident’s new Garfield-themed puzzle

In the Wickiup Hall lobby at the Central Oregon Community College Bend campus, you may find students hanging out and chit-chatting in the lobby area. Usually, they are solving a jigsaw puzzle in front of them.

Each day students have a puzzle they work on weekly. Typically, the students choose a 1000-piece count puzzle to dive into. The weekly puzzles feature dreamy scenes, renowned artists and many other categories.

For Kate Donahue, administrative assistant for housing and resident life, keeping the residence hall area approachable for students is crucial. She adheres to this with music playing and light chatter throughout the day.

“I try to keep this lobby area more like a living room…because people need a place to hang out,” said Donahue.

Donahue collects the puzzles from numerous places, including yard sales and in-laws of a coworker.

“There’s three hundred some people in this building all the time. So having a place where you can just get quiet and focus; that’s part of the draw to it,” said Donahue.

For some students, puzzles bring up nostalgic memories. According to Donoahue, students have said they get joy from puzzles in different ways, including a pastime they used to do with a loved one or a summer vacation remembrance.

“I’m glad that they have things out like that for you, especially with finals week,” said Donovan Lawerence, a resident at Wickiup Hall and first-term student.

Lawrence said he typically goes with friends to do puzzles and spends about 10 minutes. It’s somewhere they can slow down and kick back.

Studies have shown that doing jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition and increase creativity. The act of putting the pieces of a puzzle together can even improve your short-term memory, according to the National Library of Medicine.

First-term students Elizabeth Silva and Emily Zamora use the puzzle mania as a way to people-watch. “It gives me a chance to not be on my phone for a few hours,” Silva said.

“I never did it as a kid, so it’s a new joy,” said Zamora, who typically spends a few hours on a puzzle.

The Wickiup lobby area hosts puzzling and other activities during the week. To learn more about residence life, click here.

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About the Contributor
Serena Zohbe Garcia is an editor at The Broadside. She started contributing to COCC’s online newspaper in 2022.

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