C/O Austin Distel, Unsplash

McMaster’s new podcast, Bounce, releases its first episode to share community stories of overcoming struggles

Post-secondary education is often accompanied by many stressors and the ongoing pandemic has only added to the struggles that university students face. 

As a new mental health initiative, Bounce is a McMaster-based podcast that was announced at the beginning of September. The podcast aims to help students combat their stress by making them feel less alone. 

According to Catherine Munn, the project lead, the idea for Bounce originated from a similar project at the University of Victoria wherein faculty and alumni feature in videos about overcoming difficult experiences that they have had.

After hearing about this project from McMaster professor David Clarke, Munn reached out to Rebecca Gagan, the professor who developed Bounce at the University of Victoria. With Gagan’s permission, Munn developed McMaster’s version of Bounce; the name Bounce signifies the importance of bouncing back from difficult situations. 

The name Bounce signifies the importance of bouncing back from difficult situations

While Bounce at McMaster was originally intended to exist in a video format, COVID-19 challenges led to its creation as a podcast instead. Munn remarked that, although Bounce was originally intended to be a series of videos, the podcast format has unique advantages. 

“[There are] lots of great things about the podcast, just having a longer period of time to talk to people and, in a way, a more intimate, more personal kind of chance to connect,” said Munn. 

“[There are] lots of great things about the podcast, just having a longer period of time to talk to people and, in a way, a more intimate, more personal kind of chance to connect.”

Catherine Munn, Bounce Podcast Project Lead

Munn emphasized the importance of sharing stories to create community and help people through their individual struggles. 

“[Sharing stories] can offer hope to people that are in a bad place and also connect us to one another as a community of people that sometimes can seem pretty far apart,” explained Munn. 

Munn noted that students can often feel disconnected from faculty and even from each other; however, she hopes that with Bounce, students can feel a greater connection to others in the McMaster community. 

“Our committee believes that we can help people to become more resilient by sharing stories. [W]hen we share our experiences and our stories with one another, we actually help give each other ideas about how [to] get through [difficult situations]. It helps [people] understand that [they] may not be alone in struggling with what [they are] struggling with,” explained Munn. “I think we’re hoping that this helps people feel a little less alone.”

“I think we’re hoping that this helps people feel a little less alone.”

Catherine Munn, Bounce Podcast Project Lead

On Oct. 1, Bounce released its first episode with Zeinab Khawaja as the special guest. Khawaja is a McMaster alum from the class of 2017 and currently a health promoter at the Student Wellness Centre. In this episode, Khawaja talks about her previous experiences as an undergraduate student and how she navigated that along with being a wife in an arranged marriage. 

Students can listen to Bounce on the McMaster Okanagan website or on any major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple and Google. 

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