What’s the Hippo on Campus?

With our project, The Hippo On Campus, we want to get people talking about stress and educate them about the reasons why acknowledging and dealing with our stress is so important. Our catchy name is inspired by the saying "the elephant in the room," because we don’t think that people always talk openly about their stress, instead seeing it as an issue that might be embarrassing to talk to others about. Our group name uses a play-on word for the word "hippocampus," since it’s the part of the brain involved in dealing with stress. Through our project, set up as an interactive Speaker’s-Corner-style kiosk (complete with a camera and microphone) we’ve managed to get more people talking about their stress out loud. Our Hippo On Campus experience gives our participants an opportunity to share, via video recording, their stresses and the strategies they use to combat this stress. Afterwards, they are educated on the negative neuropsychological effects of long-term stress on the brain. We show our participants just how important it is to create healthy habits in order to develop positive stress resilience. We also aimed to conduct a lighthearted and fun, yet meaningful discussion about stress, emphasizing the notion that talking about stress should never feel embarrassing or weak. Rather, acknowledging stress and finding healthy ways to tackle it should only be applauded!

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