“We Care” – The Tell Me About Your Day Bracelets

At MIT, the community on campus has grieved four students lost to suicide in the past year. In the days after these tragedies, freshman Isabel “Izzy” Lloyd saw a rise in social media posts from her peers telling their networks that anyone can come talk to them if they feel depressed or need help. She realized that if these sentiments happened before a tragedy occurred, maybe that could make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Propelled by this idea, and wanting to make a difference on her campus, she created silicon wristbands that say “TMAYD MIT.” This stands for “Tell Me About Your Day, MIT.” Her first day handing them out created a real Dance Floor Theory moment:

“When I was first giving them out I was standing in Lobby 7 at MIT, which is like this main artery of campus. And a lot of people were confused by TMAYD but that was kind of the point. I wanted them to wonder,” she says.

The curiosity factor worked and by the next day she had hundreds of requests. She got a grant from the Student Activities Office to make more.

She recognized that not everyone would understand at first glance what the bracelets were. But she got students to go from meh to hmmmm….and then to a real burst in campus engagement.

Soon enough, many students on campus were wearing these noticeable wristbands that served as a reminder to:

  1. themselves to take a moment to reach out to someone else in the community, and;
  2. others that the people on their campus care about them and are there to listen.

Even some faculty members started toting the bracelets. That’s a great sign that this campus, in the wake of incredibly heartbreaking events, could come together as one, across the student-administrator border, to create a culture of support and love.

The incoming class of 2019 will be receiving their own bracelets on their arrival, making the TMAYD MIT bracelets a tradition that will strengthen the campus culture further. Llloyd says:

“It’s gonna be a really good time being able to sort of hand the wristbands to them and give them a physical object that says, ‘We care about you and you’re welcome here,’ ” Lloyd says.

That is exactly the point, a student coming onto campus should feel immediately welcomed, connected, and engaged. These bracelets, coupled with a genuine sense of love, are a perfect tool to create that environment. Getting students engaged in a positive campus culture isn’t just fun, it can be the difference between feeling alone and feeling supported. 

As you prepare for the new year and incoming freshman at your school, look for ways to make them know the upperclassmen care about them as soon as they step onto campus. You don’t have to order wristbands to make this happen. Something as simple as asking a confused-looking student if they need help finding a building will make them feel that they are at a place where supporting others is the norm, and they will probably pay it forward in their own college career.

You can read more about this story at NPR.

Who are you going to ask about their day today? 

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