Armed with NERF guns, bows and foam pellets, students blew off steam before finals week with an epic battle, free pancake breakfast and other student life events.

“It was cool. You get to know more people,” said student Jose Falcon, of La Marque, said of the NERF battle.

The College of the Mainland Student Life Department organized the event to help students stay active and release stress.

“I’m having fun watching my friends,” said student Remy Reese.

“They take it very seriously, like Call of Duty: Black Ops,” added student Abi Deem.

COM Student Life plans a variety of events each semester, from volleyball challenges to billiards tournaments. This week students can grab a free snow cone or enjoy canoeing on the campus lake.

Activities help students take a study break and connect with other students.

“When students connect with other students, it can motivate them to stay in college until graduation,” said Tige Cornelius, COM student life director.

COM Student Life Department also serves students with practical events such as Pancake Day, where students can fill up on free pancakes before finals.

“I got data showing that community college students nationwide, not just our students, often don’t have enough food,” said Cornelius. “We’re also looking at creating a food pantry on campus to meet their needs.”

Students in need can also talk to counselor Holly Bankston at or 409-933-8520 to find out more about college and community resources.

Learn more about the COM Student Life Department at