Students unwind and relax at Hoptoberfest

By MAHASHWETA GAYEN | October 3, 2019

Hoptoberfest, a week-long event organized by the student organization of the same name, occurs this year from Sept. 30 until Oct. 4. The annual event is intended to celebrate the start of autumn and relieve some of the stress that students may be feeling on campus. 

The kickoff event on Monday featured a Popeyes dinner, a corn maze, a photo booth and performances from various student groups. 

Senior Robert Cortes came to the kickoff primarily for Popeyes, which he liked despite what he said was a high price. 

“[The chicken] was really good, I split it with a friend because the 10 dollar price was a little steep,“ Cortes said. “It was a nice little snack. It was really good, Popeye’s chicken is the best chicken.” 

Cortes explained that despite coming initially for the food, he wound up staying at the event for the atmosphere.

“There’s a corn maze that I’m going to do,“ he said. “It seems like a lot of fun.”

Freshman Nainika Pansari said Hoptoberfest was a chance to try new things and create new memories with friends. 

“The free polaroids were really fun because I came with my friends and we took a bunch of pictures,” she said. 

Several acapella groups performed at the Hoptoberfest kickoff event, including both Ketzev and the AllNighters.

Rose Gebremedhin, a senior on Ketzev, spoke about her group’s practice and performance. “We rehearse every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for two hours each. We performed “Hallelujah,” the Pentatonix version. We also performed some Hebrew songs.” 

Gebremedhin enjoyed the opportunity to see other student groups perform as well.

“I liked the acrobatics club a lot, that was cool. They were doing yoga acrobatics. I liked how they had different clubs doing different things; it was nice to see,” she said. 

Cortes was impressed by the Entertainers Club’s show, which involved flow arts with a focus on fire. 

“They have been a staple at Hopkins events over the years and I’ve truly enjoyed their act, their art and their vibe,“ Cortes said. “They’re a lot of fun.”

On Tuesday, Hoptoberfest held an event on the Beach called Stress on Paws, a wellness event intended to help students combat daily stress. The organization brought several bunnies and a dog that students could play with. 

Stressbusters and A Place to Talk (APTT), student organizations focused on improving mental health on campus, were also at the event. The Stressbusters gave free massages and APTT provided students with the chance to reflect on their current mental health. 

Omar Azmeh, a member of APTT, explained the group’s participation in the event. 

He said that the group set up a trifold poster on which people could put sticky notes that finished the sentence, “The last time I felt heard was when....” He stated that he believed it was a way to start a conversation about mental health. 

Azmeh said that the event was overall a good way for the student body to destress. 

“It’s relaxing to just take a break from classes, spend time with friends and pet bunnies,” Azmeh said. 

Hoptoberfest held an event called Pumpkin Patch on Wednesday, at which students had the opportunity to decorate pumpkins, eat pies, and drink cider. 

Sophomore Steven Solar explained that although he thought the day was too hot for warm cider, he appreciated the food and atmosphere. 

“I passed on the warm cider since it was crazy hot out, but grabbed some pumpkin pie on the way to class. I thought it was a nice way to kick off October and Hoptoberfest,” Solar said. 

Later in the week, Hoptoberfest will hold events that involve cupcake decorating and a campfire.

On Friday, there will be a concert featuring Echosmith and Public. 

Cortes said he is looking forward to these upcoming events.

“They seem exciting,” he said. 

The HOP and Hoptoberfest boards both declined to comment.

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