Submitted: ‘It just makes you feel good’: HRL hosts annual pumpkin smashing

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Sydney Windhorst

WKU Housing and Residence Life laid down tarps outside Downing Student Union on Nov. 3.

Sydney Windhorst

As weather grows colder and the semester comes closer to an end, WKU seeks to help Hilltoppers deal with the mounting stress in creative ways such as the annual pumpkin smashing.

On Nov. 2, Housing and Residence Life laid down tarps outside Downing Student Union and encouraged each student to smash some pumpkins, Kirsten Hooks, marketing coordinator for Housing and Residence Life, said.

“Our annual stress squash event is an opportunity for students to come out, smash pumpkins from the holiday season and get some stress out before finals,” Hooks said.

Once students check in and put on safety gloves and goggles, they are handed a sledgehammer and encouraged to “use the pumpkin to take out whoever or whatever is causing them stress,” Hooks said.

Housing and Residence Life supplied 40 pumpkins, but students were also encouraged to bring any they had leftover from Halloween, Hooks said.

Hooks also said her team is looking into using the leftover pumpkin remains as compost or farm food in the coming years to better combine stress relief with sustainability.

Shirma Pierre, a sophomore studying International Business, and Re’Anna Calloway, an undecided sophomore, were “so excited” for this event and “planned the whole week around it.”

“I just squashed the life out of some poor pumpkins, and it felt really good. School work and personal life can be really overwhelming. College takes a big toll on you so having these events gets the pressure off you and helps you destress,” Pierre said.

Calloway described the experience as “freeing. At first, I was kinda nervous because I have never done anything like that before, but once you get the hang of it, it just makes you feel good.”

Hooks invites students to be on the lookout for upcoming Housing and Residence Life events and make reducing stress a priority.

“Students especially coming out of COVID have a lot on their plate with academics and personal life,” Hooks said. “We saw this as an opportunity for students to imagine what is stressing them and literally squash it away. A lot of the students once they smash the pumpkin say ‘oh that did feel good,’ so it has been a really good opportunity for them to try something new and make some memories on the Hill.”

Sydney Windhorst can be reached at [email protected]