By Sonya Acharya
Generations of Pitt engineers have known that the lawn in the middle of Benedum Hall is the best place on campus to scream into the void. But recently, other students have begun to realize its benefits too. It is a safe, inclusive space accessible to all students. It is open 24 hours a day, and provides showers in case you want to stay longer. It is conveniently located on Middle Campus, a short ride on the 10B from Cathy. Best of all, you will always find people to scream with you. Students can form wholesome communities to relieve college- and life-induced stress and anxiety. Boss getting on your nerves? Scream. Three quizzes tomorrow? Shout. If you get exhausted, maybe stop by Einstein’s.
Students share their views: would they consider Benedum as a destination for cathartic screams? Eighty-one percent of students say yes, yes, they absolutely would. “All the time. I study here, and when I’m tired, I just stand up and scream. It’s not too big, so it’s cozy and it doesn’t echo,” said a junior engineer, speaking while asleep on one of the benches by the lawn. Twelve percent seem to prefer the woods by Schenley Park because of the lack of screeching doors and because they are less likely to trigger a riot. The remaining seven percent say they find exercise or meditation to be more therapeutic than screaming. That made for an awkward conversation. “I like to deal with my problems rather than complaining about them. If I’m stressed, I go for a run or do some yoga,” announced a freshman communications major, before taking a bite of her vegan cauliflower mac n’ cheese. We left her as soon as we could. A conversation that took place in Chick-fil-A supported the majority opinion:
Dude: Babe, come to Benedum ;)
Babe: I can’t, I have three quizzes, two papers, and an exa-
Dude: We can scream into the void ;)
Babe: What time?
Seeing students choose Benedum so spontaneously brings up questions for the University. Should they plan to sound-proof the lawn, or should screams be allowed to broadcast the spirit of the student body? Should they encourage healthy competition by installing volumeters to see who can scream the loudest? For now, just channel your inner Tasmanian devil and express yourself.
Disclaimer: The author is not an engineer, but insists that, as a pre-med student, she has reason to scream too.