A Place to Talk (APTT), a student-run peer listening service, launched an ongoing campaign titled #KindnessAtHopkins this semester. The campaign, which encourages students to share positive experiences at Hopkins by submission through a Google Form, seeks to shed light on everyday moments of kindness that have affected students.
Sophomore Julie Awad submitted a story about the value of supportive friendships at Hopkins.
“I have an amazing support system here at Hopkins and I can really count on my friends to have my back in my hard times,” she wrote in an email to The News-Letter.
Awad hopes the initiative will help students put the pressures and opportunities they face at Hopkins into perspective.
“We often get caught up in being obsessed on the negative aspects of school, but it is important to remember to stay positive and appreciate the little things,” she wrote. “I think that spreading kindness stories around campus can brighten someone’s day by including them in your story and making someone feel special.”
Junior Andrew Hellinger, co-director of APTT, described the mental health climate at Hopkins and the challenges students face.
“Hopkins can be a very stressful environment, and mental health can suffer as a result, so we have a lot of prevalent mental health issues,” he said.
APTT offers undergraduates the opportunity to sit down with student listeners, each of whom is trained in 50 hours of active listening and crisis intervention, and talk about academic or personal issues In addition to a longstanding presence in the freshmen dorms, APTT recently began operating out of the Brody Learning Commons.
“We have a new room in Brody 4010. The Library was so generous to allow us to use that space for the semester and we’ve seen a lot of visits there. It’s great to be able to be so accessible to students on campus,” he said.
Hellinger expressed excitement for the future of #KindnessAtHopkins.
“We’re still in the process of reviewing all the submissions. We’re super happy to see the energy and excitement for this campaign on social media, and we’ll be releasing some of those stories later on so we can share some moments of kindness, some positivity around campus,“ Hellinger said. “We’re still open for submissions, so if anyone has a great story they’d like to share, we’d love to hear it.”