Unplug and Connect with friends through the Wellness Center and Campus Recreations events

Lindsay Johnson, Allie Pearce, and Brittany Gottsch participating in Unplug and Connect event at Rowan. -Staff Writer/ Kalie VanDewater

Ever feel like school, work and whatever else is going on in your life has you stretched thin? Do you feel like you’re always attached to your phone, your laptop or the TV? Does this hold you back from things you want to do, like meeting new people and relaxing?

Well, this is exactly what the Wellness Center and Campus Recreation partnered up to combat on Wednesday night.

The Unplug and Connect event was held on the Student Center patio to help students de-stress by getting them off their phones and promoting mental health, said Brittany Gottsch, the coordinator for Healthy Campus Initiatives. 

The event was a smaller version of the Unplug and Connect experience that happened in September. While the goal of both was to help students make connections with each other, Wednesday’s event was specifically geared towards promoting mental health because it was International Mental Health Day.

 “We’re getting students to come out and get some information about mental health awareness,” Gottsch said.

Attendees got to partake in many activities, including giant Jenga, rock painting, writing six-word stories and a ball pit.

The Unplug and Connect event hosted on the back patio of the student center had a ball pit for students to play in -Staff Writer/Kalie VanDewater

The highlight of the event was the ball pit, which enabled students to get to know each other better. On each of the balls was written a question such as, “What would be the name of your memoir?”

Gottsch saw that this was a huge success at their larger Unplug and Connect event in September and that it was a great addition to this event.

Another major draw to the event was the rock painting. Attendees picked one of the various sized rocks provided and brought a design of their own into being. Some chose to write sayings on their rocks, while others painted more visual things.

Freshman biological engineering student Christina Sunbury painted her rock as a ladybug. She said that while she initially attended Unplug and Connect to fulfill a requirement for her Leadership Rowan Silver Certificate Program, she had never expected to have so much fun at the event.

“I actually don’t know what I expected, other than that we wouldn’t be on our phones,” Sunbury said.

The most introspective activity available at the event was the six-word story station. Students were provided with slips of paper that prompted them to write something related to mental health in only six words. Many of the entries were motivational phrases. Students could bring their stories with them if they wanted, but most left theirs for others to see.

Not only were there fun activities, but there were also free tea bags students could take home to help carry the calming atmosphere of the event through the rest of their day.

Though the event was much smaller than the first one, it was still a huge success. There was a great turnout and Gottsch emphasized the importance of mental health for everyone.

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