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Confess Your Stress: selfies as therapy

December 10, 2013, 7:48 pm

Like many libraries, we do a lot of things for students during finals. We give away food. We bring in therapy dogs and cats. We add extra tables and chairs. We’ve done mindfulness (and related) programs. We’ve done games and gaming. We’ve done bubble wrap. Our folks are always looking for new ways to help students during this challenging time.

My new favorite thing: Stress Confessional Photo Booth.

stress_boothbooth_sideVirginia Tech has a portable photo booth that pops up at different campus locations; it’s a great value-add for events. Pretty straight forward — students snap their photos and print them out for free.

We’ve hosted the booth in the library before and it always gets a good reaction. This time we added a creative thematic element: stress confessional. The idea incubated via a Fast Company article How Selfies Are Re-Energizing The New York Public Library and we mashed that with our finals stress relieve efforts.

We invited students to open up and share their concerns. Confess your stress, so to speak. Get it down on paper—you’ll feel better. About half of the people who used the photo booth actually followed our advice. The other half just goofed off– which honestly is the whole point. Samples:

booth4 booth3 booth2 booth1

Therapeutic? Perhaps.
Fun? Definitely.

Interestingly there were a number of students who filled out our form but didn’t use the photo booth. They just wanted to get the stress off their chests. Hopefully we helped them feel a little better.

Props to Scott Fralin for masterminding this venture.

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