An electrifying event took place at the Big Rapids Roller Rink on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Ferris Housing hosted a free Mardi Gras skate event for students, where they gave out free Mardi Gras themed necklaces and masks. There was also a wheel for students to spin for a chance to win free merchandise.
Music filled the room as adrenaline filled the Bulldogs who skated around in circles. Ferris events like this give students the opportunity to expand their friendships.
Graphic media management freshman Faith Robinson and graphic communications sophomore Harmony Blanzy decided to attend the event together after a month of being friends in the classroom.
“I’m glad we were able to finally go to an event like this together because it’s just helped us get time away from school and get some exercise,” Blanzy said.
Robinson has been skating for seven years, while Blanzy had only skated a few times before the two went together. The Mardi Gras skate opened the possibility of building a deeper friendship between the two.
“I figured I would try even though I can’t skate very well because it’s something Faith likes to do, and I just wanted to come to have fun with her,” Blanzy said.
A variety of Bulldog packs stepped out of their comfort zones for the Mardi Gras skate. Dental hygiene freshman Hannah Elmore went with two of her senior friends, whom she met when she joined a Christian fellowship.
“It’s been amazing being surrounded by people with the same values as me,” Elmore said.
According to Elmore, it was encouraging for her new friends to teach her how to rollerblade. As a first-time skater, it wasn’t easy. As she started off on four-wheel skates and eventually was talked into trying blades, Elmore embraced the wall of the rink for most of the night.
“I wanted to give up, but Bailey was really supportive in helping me get the hang of it,” Elmore said.
To delay burnout, college students must maintain their mental and physical health. Events like the Mardi Gras skate are the perfect way to stimulate social community, make new friends and build deeper relationships. Finding alternative ways to get exercise is important for many students.
User experience design senior Baylee Devos is a big fan of rollerblading, she didn’t have to utilize the rentals because she brought her own blades, which “don’t get pulled out enough.”
“I spend a lot of time sitting down, staring at a computer screen for my major,” Devos said. “It’s what I love to do, but I make sure to seek out physical activities when I can.”
As her busy schedule often prevents her from going out, she looked forward to going skating with her friend.
“I haven’t been able to go to many events because I’ve been insanely busy, but I’m a senior now, and I know I need to make as many memories as I can before I graduate,” Devos said.
At the end of the night, the remaining skaters soaked in the last song and took their final laps around the rink. By 10 p.m., there was a line of grateful students exiting the building. There was no lack of excitement from the crowd, as chatter and laughter filled the roller rink until only the employees remained.
Ferris Housing hosts many events throughout the school year to get students involved. Although freshmen are their intended audience, these events are meant for students of all class standings to enjoy and feel a powerful sense of community.
Keep an eye out for events that interest you on the Ferris Housing and Entertainment Unlimited Instagram accounts or look out for flyers posted in the David L. Eisler Center.