Unofficial Drawing Club Helps Students Cope with Pandemic, Feel Free to Join


Kasie Jacobs, Staff Writer

Beginning a new semester can be stressful–meeting new professors, new classmates, new classes, etc. Since Brookdale is a two-year school, most students spend the entirety of their time working on homework and projects, making it easy to pass up on the clubs and activities offered here.
Professor Sabrina Mathues has started an online “Zoom and Draw” unofficial “club” for students who are interested in drawing and creating art.
“I started it to help facilitate some social connections during the thick of the pandemic when the campus was totally closed in Fall 2020. I had just one student who joined me that semester, but it proved cathartic for both of us. More students joined in the Spring 2021 term. It’s hard as it is to make friends as an adult, and in college, you often make friends coincidentally through having classes together or striking up a conversation in person,” said Mathues via email.
The pandemic is affecting everyone in one way or another. For those involved in clubs and sports, it can be difficult to find a way to de-stress. Joining school clubs and sports is how most people find friends, so when Brookdale went virtual that made making friends even harder.
“Essentially, Zoom made coincidental friendships impossible, so I decided to be intentional. And I happen to enjoy drawing! It’s something that is purely based on interest, not instruction, so it’s an opportunity to connect outside of the usual professor-students dynamic,” said Mathues via email.
The “club” meets on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. on Zoom, but Mathues offers students the option to come to her office with personal supplies and participate there. There is no mandatory attendance or assignments for the club, which allows students to be less nervous and more likely to get themselves out there.
“I would definitely be interested in the unofficial drawing club because, while I’m not very good, I do enjoy drawing every once and a while. I think that even just coloring is good for all students who usually lead stressful and busy lives because it provides a great amount of relaxation, in my personal experience,” said Elisa Ortiz, a 19-year-old media studies major from Matawan, via email.
“I have struggled with mental health, and my therapist recommended those adult coloring books. I tried them, and now they are something I use all the time when I get stressed out or I feel like I need a break,” said Maddie Osgoodby, a 20-year-old business major from Avon.
Drawing has been shown to be an outlet for those dealing with mental health. This “club” is for students to relax, listen to music, talk to each other and, most importantly, create. There is no textbook definition of what art is, so it’s not about being perfect, but instead using art as a way to ease the mind.
For more information, text [email protected]