By Lauren LaFrance
October 27 marked the annual smash the stigma event, hosted in the UPEI quad by the mental health and wellness officer for the 2021-2022 school year, Annika Wiebe. Students were invited to write on a piece of tape anything they were struggling with or which they found stigmatizing about mental health, stick it to a pumpkin, then smash it to a pulp.
This event is held each year to provide students with the perfect opportunity to release some stress in a healthy way. Wiebe believes that this event was especially important this year due to the stress and isolation that Covid-19 has caused. This event provided students with the opportunity to connect with their peers while also blowing off steam and having fun.
One student stated that he had a midterm the next day and needed to relieve some stress. Watching the pumpkin guts flying, you can see the stress melting away from the students’ face. The tension fades, and all he is focused on is blasting that pumpkin out of the park. After the pumpkin’s organs are strewn all over the ground, the student carefully picks his way off the battlefield, absolutely beaming. He exclaims how much more relaxed he feels, then continues on his way, a newfound spring in his step.
This student found joy and relaxation in something as simple as smashing a pumpkin. Taking a break to do something you enjoy is a great way to lift your spirits and find a bit of relaxation, especially during midterms and exams.