By Andrea Josic
The 8th floor of the Student Learning Centre (SLC) is where group projects and selfish people occupy tables all by themselves. This year, amongst the chatter, there is the sound of distant, muffled screams. Originally thought to be the ghost of upper liberals past, the sounds actually originated from Ryerson’s newest expansion of the SLC.
Fall can be an exciting time as it brings beautiful leaves, cool weather and all things spooky. It also welcomes students back to school and back to high levels of stress. Luckily for Ryerson students, the SLC’s brand new pillow room is the place for students that just need to scream it out.
The room has been in the works since winter 2017. Third-year psychology student Saleena Abdi came up with the idea after she walked up to the 8th floor in a parka because the elevators never came. “I was already late to a group presentation and I had been waiting for those elevators for 45 minutes,” says Abdi. “By the time I got up to the top, I was sweaty and stressed.”
Abdi, unlike most people, doesn’t suppress her emotions. She decided to pitch the pillow room after being banned from most places in Toronto for public disturbance.
“I would just scream in public whenever I felt like it,” she admits. “But after getting arrested, I had to stop and find a better solution to my outbursts.”
The room is suitable for all your distressing needs, whether that’s curled up sobbing, lying lifeless on the ground or going absolutely ballistic into the pillow with your vocal cords. Students can book the room the same way they book SLC rooms on other floors. With a capacity of 8 people, there’s the option of booking several seats if students want to scream with the squad. For those of us without friends, there’s something about screaming with complete strangers that is intimate and comforting.
During the first few weeks of school, the room doesn’t have a lot of visitors, except for a few Faculty of Science students and the one janitor in charge of the first floor of the Victoria building.
Peter Mendez, a fourth-year biomedical sciences student, thinks the room is perfect. He can’t emphasize enough how much work science students get. “If I hear one more person say ‘Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell’, I’m going to lose my shit.”
A study shows that screaming into a pillow is the most effective method of stress-relief. In every case where a student was about to skip class and cry on the commute home, 15 minutes of screaming into a pillow kept students on campus and in class.
The room isn’t just great for students. Ryerson professor Marc Richards uses the room every Monday morning before teaching his 8 a.m. lecture.“I used to just use my office for my mid-life crises,” says Richards. “Screaming into a pillow with students who think their life is falling apart makes me feel young again.”
Whether your current methods of stress relief include watching Netflix until sunrise, binge-drinking on a Tuesday, or dropping a class the morning of a midterm, consider booking the SLC’s pillow room. While it may seem weird to let your breakdowns run free, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.