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Bison Wellness Day Heals the Herd Ahead of Finals Season

The second annual BWell Wellness Day was held on April 17th on the Yard, allowing the Howard Community to prioritize mental health and fun prior to Spring semester’s end.

2024 BWell Bison Wellness Day

With musical selections from WHUR 96.3, bouncy houses, and Rita’s Italian Ice, Howard University’s second annual BWell Bison Wellness Day can be likened to a festival of relaxation on The Yard. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., students, faculty and staff come out in droves to partake in the free festivities, all in the name of improving their mental health.  

As the semester ends, events like these give participants a break from the rigor of academia before the onset of finals seasons. Activities such as wellness sessions focus on inner well-being through hour long practices of yoga and sonic healing, while other activities take a more straightforward approach to wellness with fun activities.  

“I think it’s important to have intentional moments where people can think about things other than the stressors themselves,” said Tiara Liquardonay Smith, a practicum trainee at the Howard University counseling service. 

“Having access to things like massages and music and bounce houses, where people can kind of allow their brains to be free for a moment, is going to have a positive impact on their ability to perform during finals.” 

In addition to free massages with certified masseuses, students and others could also partake in free haircuts from the Bison Barbershop and get their pictures taken at the 360-photo booth.  

The overcast conditions of the day shaded Bison from the sun as the festivities included dance competitions for prizes, raffles, and cooking demonstrations for healthy eating options.  

“It’s really good to see everybody embracing health and wellness,” said Elan Watson, a graduating senior and political science major.  

“There’s a lot of things like graduation, jobs, and everything else that can take over your life. To have a moment to reflect, spend time with people you care about and embrace health and wellness is great. It lets you realize that you shouldn’t put too much stress on yourself and that it’s still important to take care of yourself even through stressful times.” 

Each activity held on The Yard came at no cost to students, encouraging them to fully enjoy themselves amidst the pressures associated with closing out a school year.  

Healthy eating options in the form of food trucks sat in front of the Armour J. Blackburn Student Center. Trucks for tacos, hibachi and po boys had long lines that could compete with the similarly lengthy lines for Shine ‘n Jam’s free haircare products and massages.  

The physical health feature of the event was the wellness stations and resources, which conducted dental and blood pressure screenings, and the opportunity to ask a doctor some questions about mental health and other topics like health education resources at the University and the D.C. metropolitan area at-large. The options for wellness and fun were endless.  

 “I’m not sure what I want to do, but there’s a lot going on and it seems like it’s going to be a fun day,” said Naima Enriquez, freshman and legal communications major.