Start up aims to bring students joy during stress-filled finals

Mason Carroll

With finals right around the corner, this time of year can be extremely stressful for students across campus. However, a group of design students are creating a campaign to spread mental health awareness and joy to students during finals season.

The campaign, called Work in More You, plans to create a large-scale capsule machine — similar to the ones found at grocery stores ­— place it in front of the PCL during finals week and fill it with trinkets such as stickers and chocolate to remind students to set aside time for their mental health. Design junior Carolina Masuero said they want to address mental health in a more approachable way.

“(Mental health) is something that goes on in everybody’s life,” Masuero said. “We wanted to start the conversation not in a heavy way but in a light, fun way to help people not feel guilty or feel ashamed of mental health problems.”

The group was created through a design class called Work Room where students work on projects throughout the semester. To raise money for the installation, the group is selling $12 stress relief kits, which contain things such as chocolate, lotion and stickers, through a kick starter called IndieGoGo. 

The group is trying to raise $6,500 by next week, and so far has $265. Advertising senior Dani Munoz said the project will happen no matter what, but they need funding to execute the vision they say the campus deserves. 

“Funding is difficult because there is still a lot we can do (without the full funding), but at the end of the day it doesn’t get very close to what we need,” Munoz said. “We’re so passionate about this (that) we want to execute this the best (way) that we can.”

Munoz said campaigning for funding is difficult because the demographic they are trying to help, college students, aren’t always able to support projects such as theirs.

“As someone who cannot contribute financially to organizations, I feel like spreading (awareness) is the best way for me to help,” Munoz said. “We owe it to ourselves and the rest of UT to see it through and do the best that we can do.”

Masuero is from Brazil and said she wants to use the opportunity to help with the problems students face, especially mental health.

“It’s really nice because our campus environment is very different than Brazil so I have the opportunity to be more involved and make a difference,” Masuero said. “It’s international. Mental health applies to everyone. It doesn’t matter what country you’re from.”

Jiwon Park, an assistant design professor, teaches the class and said they have faced many challenges, but she is confident in her students and proud of the work they
have done.

“It is always inspiring for me to see the time and effort my students put into the project to try and make it happen,” Park said. “We made this a public promise, and so we have to deliver.”