In Fisher Fine Arts Library, a wire tree has leaf-shaped notecards with self-affirming messages dangling from its branches. The project, called the Affirmation Tree, was created by a Penn student to encourage positive self-reflection among students.
College senior Elana Burack, who launched the project Monday, said self-affirmations are statements that help people remember their values and their positive traits. Next to the tree, a sign asks students prompts including “What do you value, and why?,” “What is meaningful to you?,” and “I am proud of myself because…” and calls on them to pen their responses and hang the notecards on the tree.
To decide prompts for the tree, Burack reached out to Adam Grant, a management and psychology professor in the Wharton School, and Andrew Ward, a psychology professor at Swarthmore College. She said the professors helped point her towards self-affirmation research and suggested directions for the prompts.
The Affirmation Tree will remain in the lobby of Fisher Fine Arts until the end of this week. Burack said she plans to move the tree every few weeks to various locations around campus, including Houston Hall, Van Pelt Library, and Weingarten Learning Resources Center.