Bringing Back the Rock Room: Using Art to Decrease Stress

Arkesh Kumar and Alex Lau

The Rock Room is a space that helps Lexington High School students and teachers reduce stress and straighten out their thoughts as they paint rocks and work on creative projects. Beginning in 2017, participants placed rocks decorated with motivating messages around LHS. These rocks led to the creation of the Rock Room.  

LHS is infamously known for its competitive environment and high academic expectations. The Rock Room alleviates this pressure by providing students a space to destress.

“I heard about the rock room through a friend. When I was stressed for a test once, I chilled there for a bit and I felt better. I ended up getting an A on that test,” Han Gyeol Lee, a junior, said. 

Additionally, there are no teachers in the rock room, allowing students to relax alone or with close friends. 

“It’s a great space to be for, no teachers to hover over you… [Without it], I probably would be in a stairwell,” Julianna Mathurin, a freshman, said. 

Moreover, students encourage each other to use the Rock Room to take a break from their stressful lives. 

“I think more students around LHS should at least know what the Rock Room is, and I think that students could actually improve their mental health this way,” Anaiah Booth, a freshman, said. 

The Rock Room is also used from time to time by the school counselors and social workers who conduct groups in the room. 

“It can be a girls group, it could be groups of freshmen, Building Culture Bridges has met there a few times. It’s just a small and more comfortable space than the classroom to get people to come together to talk,” Martha Queenin, the founder of the Rock Room, said. 

The Rock Room has various games and activities to engage students.

“We have Legos and certain games. We also have tea and cocoa so kids can go in and make themselves comfortable at any point in time,” Queenin said.  

The Rock Room is a project that’s grown to be a space of sanctuary for the entire school.