April 1, 2022 | Griffin Jaeger and Cristina Pietrantonio

Students in front of Western UCC building. Courtesy: Western Technology Services

One time he woke up to find his face covered in shaving cream. Once his toothbrush had hot sauce on it.

Those are are just two of the experiences that came to mind for Western student Christian James-McDonald when asked about April 1 pranks that have been pulled on him over the years.

“You’re not safe on April Fools’ Day,” said James-McDonald. “My sister’s come up with some pretty good ones.”

Friday marked the first April 1 students have been present on Western campus since 2019.

The day is popular around the world for prank and hoax traditions. According to  HISTORY (formerly the History Channel), its exact origins are a mystery but it became popularized in 1700. 

Even though this tradition is hundreds of years old, many Western students like James-McDonald said they’ve been too busy navigating school, exams and the pandemic this year to join in on the fun. 

We asked students how they feel about April Fools’ Day during the sixth wave of COVID-19.

Here’s what they had to say:

Sajin Kowser studying at the University Community Centre (UCC) Starbucks

“As long as it’s not hurting anyone … I think that’s okay. Overall, it lightens the mood for everyone in what seems to be a dark time that we’re all coming out of.” 

Sajin Kowser, 21, computer science and business

Jodi Keizer sitting in the UCC food court

“It used to be such a light-hearted holiday that  brought people a lot of laughs and good memories, at least for me. If people keep it respectful and appropriate, I think it is okay to celebrate and make people laugh.”

Jodi Keizer, 20, economics

Isabella DiMenna sitting in the UCC food court.

“I wouldn’t say the current pandemic and the stress related to it would be any reason to not celebrate something like this. If you are concerned about people’s emotions, then you should probably be concerned about people’s emotions every year.” 

Isabella DiMenna, 19, humanities and political science

Christian James-McDonald in the health sciences building

“It’s a very light-hearted day. I think it gives everyone a breath of fresh air. At the end of the day, you’re living a life and it’s important to enjoy that and share it with friends and family.”

Christian James-McDonald, 22, medical science

Parmida Safari in the UCC atrium

“It’s fun, if you have friends that have a good sense of humour. I feel like it’s appropriate but just [keep in mind] the severity of the jokes, as long as it’s not something serious that you know the person will overthink.” 

Parmida Safari, 19, health science

Souraish Mahesh, bartending at the Spoke

“This holiday gives back that sense of fun that we lost over the pandemic. When’s the last time you sat down and had a good laugh over a joke or prank? I think the fact that there’s a day for us to just have fun is really good for everyone’s mental health and a way to relax.” 

Souraish Mahesh, 20, health science student.

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