Hundreds release primal scream as finals approach

Gathering+on+Centennial+Common%2C+students+take+a+break+from+studying+finals+to+scream+wordlessly+into+the+night.
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Hundreds release primal scream as finals approach

Gathering on Centennial Common, students take a break from studying finals to scream wordlessly into the night.

Gathering on Centennial Common, students take a break from studying finals to scream wordlessly into the night.

Morgan Lloyd

Gathering on Centennial Common, students take a break from studying finals to scream wordlessly into the night.

Morgan Lloyd

Morgan Lloyd

Gathering on Centennial Common, students take a break from studying finals to scream wordlessly into the night.

Morgan Lloyd, deputy lifestyle editor

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It was only the beginning of finals week, and hundreds of Northeastern students may have already reached their breaking point. They gathered on Centennial Common just before midnight for one purpose: to release all their pent-up stress and anxiety in a single primal scream.

Thursday night’s “Primal Scream @ NU” event was Northeastern’s take on a finals-week tradition that many other schools already partake in.

“With the amount of kids who are part of the Meme Collective and everything, we were like, ‘How is this not a thing?’” said Atharva Gawde, a first-year bioengineering major and one of the event’s organizers. More than 18,000 students are members of the Facebook group NU Meme Collective, which allows students to post memes about their Northeastern experience.

The event drew a large crowd, with more than 300 people marking that they went on its Facebook page.

“I would have been fine, honestly, if just 50 of our friends showed up,” said Stanley Liu, a first-year computer science major and event organizer, “but so many people were here.”

Students streamed toward Centennial from all directions, uniting as midnight approached. With 10 seconds left, the organizers led the crowd in a countdown that exploded into a cacophony lasting almost two minutes.

Slowly, the scream died away, and the crowd began to dissipate, many returning to their studies.

“I feel like I’ve taken all the anxieties that I hold in here and released them to the world,” said Christina Lau, a first-year student in the Explore Program and an event organizer.

When the organizers decided to arrange a primal scream, they were faced with the challenge of making sure people knew that the event wasn’t a joke. They devoted time to planning the event, marketing it on Facebook and clearing it with the university.

“If only I could put this amount of effort into actual school,” Gawde said.

After a student raised a potential concern on the event page, Lau made sure to loop in the Northeastern University Police Department, ensuring no one would start finals week off with a citation for disturbing the peace.

“I called them earlier to be like, ‘Just so you know, we’re getting together some people to let out a collective scream. Just so you don’t think there’s anything horrible happening,’” Lau said.

The scream was executed flawlessly, however, granting some catharsis to both organizers and attendees.

“Now I feel prepared. I’m in a mindset to study now,” Lau said. “I’m ready to finish my 10-page paper — or, start my 10-page paper.”