Students ‘burst the bubble’ for student involvement this Winter Term

Free, non-credit courses allow students to meet once a week over Winter Term to learn and share valuable skills and hobbies with their peers.

Have you ever wanted to learn arts and crafts, become a better cook or join a group of like-minded peers to discuss similar interests? Look no further than the Burst the Bubble program here at Elon which has been growing on campus since 2007.

The program runs through all three weeks of Winter Term and allows every student the chance to join or facilitate a course of their interest. This year, 10 courses are available to join such as skateboarding, baking and decorating, learning to DJ and much more. Facilitators are provided a budget to cover the cost of supplies for their course, which Sophie David ’24 used for her introduction to wire jewelry-making class.

“I’m teaching two sessions, and Burst the Bubble gave me a budget so I could get the supplies. People don’t have to come in with any experience, any supplies, or anything like that,” David said.

David began making wire jewelry as a freshman in high school and hopes to share her skills and knowledge with those interested in learning. Additionally, it provides the chance for her to make time for one of her favorite hobbies.

“Since I’ve been at Elon, I don’t always have a lot of time to do jewelry stuff. Burst the Bubble seemed like a great opportunity for me to do it while I’m at school. It’ll be something fun to do over J-term that’s low-stress,” she said.

Students in the Burst the Bubble program during Winter Term 2023 gathered to read "The Four Agreements." The low-stress environment provided by the Burst the Bubble programs enables students to create great connections with each other, connections that perhaps wouldn’t have been made before.

Another facilitator, Sarah Rusthoven ’23, was inspired to lead a course structured as a book club that allows a tight-knit group to meet and discuss the reading of “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.

“I’m trying to make this class interactive and an active learning environment,” Rusthoven said. “We’re definitely not just going to come and sit in this room. I want to have everyone use the whole floor and maybe use the meditation rooms. There are some good resources in Numen Lumen and I want to create an open space for the eight of us in my class.”

Rusthoven attended a Burst the Bubble program her freshman year in 2020 where she also read a self-help book and was inspired to apply for Burst the Bubble to have discussions on a similar read.

“A goal of mine is to establish a sense of community. I feel like in the past few years, especially since Covid, it’s been so hard to create community on campus. During my freshman year, there was so much involvement on campus. And now with incoming grades, there’s just less of it. It’s a trend Elon is seeing,” she said. “I think it’s important now more than ever to create spaces on campus where people feel that genuine sense of community and feel safe. I hope new students are able to find their places here at Elon.”

Interested students can join David, Rusthoven and many others on campus in the Burst the Bubble program this Winter Term. More information about this year’s courses can be found on the Burst the Bubble website.