Around 2010, two wooden swings appeared on a Dahurian birch tree next to Mirror Lake and quickly became a favorite gathering spot for students. It was also a great spot to self-reflect, and a few years later Elizabeth Cracco, director of Counseling and Mental Health Services, placed a blank composition book near the tree to give students an outlet.
The University later erected a post and mailbox to house the journal within easy reach of the wooden swings, one of which is carved with the words “Be Happy” and the other declaring, “You’re Awesome.” Over the years, students and visitors alike have filled dozens of “swing journals” with mostly anonymous contemplations, words of encouragement, jokes, stories, and confessions.
The “swing tree” recently reached the end of its natural life, became sick, and had to be cut down. But before that, the UConn 360 podcast told the story of the swing journal.
Listen to the podcast:
For full episodes of the UConn 360 podcast, visit uconn.edu/uconn360-podcast.