Photo Courtesy of Disability Horizons

NYU Abu Dhabi Wellness launches the Shared Stories Project.

The Shared Stories initiative encourages students to collectively reflect and learn from one another through journaling.

Mar 28, 2021

NYU Abu Dhabi’s Wellness Department started a new journaling project called the Shared Stories project with the aim of “[bringing] the NYUAD community together by sharing some stories and experiences that have shaped and made [them] who [they] are, individually and collectively.” The organizers prepared prompts that encourage students to reflect and journal their thoughts while also sharing it with others so that NYUAD, as a community, can reflect and learn from one another.
Students who wish to participate in the project must submit a journal entry based on the provided prompt. In order to submit an entry, students were asked to find the Shared Stories journals around campus, scan the QR code in the journal and submit a response to the scanned prompt anonymously or with their names. Once received, Wellness Department will review all responses and upload them to the website within 48 hours if approved. Students can view other members’ entries [here] ( For Cece Kim, Class of 2021, the Shared Stories project served as a medium to check in with herself.
“I love taking the time to reflect on my emotions and check in on how I’m doing as well as noting things that are both within and beyond my control so as to reduce my anxiety,” she shared.
The journaling prompts range from questions like “What gives you meaning and purpose in life?” to those like “What was the last thing that made you laugh?” To Kim, the variety and depth in journaling prompts was very valuable since it allowed her to practice more self compassion.
Since the project requires students to find journals and prompts around campus, it has prompted them to be observant of their surroundings.
“[The project was] a nice incentive to walk around and pay more attention to … [their] surroundings.” shared Katie Glasgow-Palmer, Class of 2021. Glasgow-Palmer views the concept of searching for prompts as an interactive challenge that allows the student community to reconnect with the space in which they reside.
Kim echoed Glasgow-Palmer’s sentiment. “I loved the fact that the Wellness journaling project made me move around the campus [a] lot more … because the little slips of paper could be taped anywhere.”
However, there have not been as many submissions as was originally hoped. Kim suggested that a lot more students would have liked to participate if they had easier access to other’s journal responses.
“I know they were posted on a website but more personalized promotion on social media like Student Life would have been [more] effective in my opinion,” said Kim.
There is also a prize for students who write for the Shared Stories project. Glasgow-Palmer shared that she was gunning for the prize but at the same time wrote genuine answers.
Overall, both Kim and Glasgow-Palmer noted that the Shared Stories project is a helpful initiative for students to introspect, reflect and express their thoughts.
Vimal Karimbhai Minsariya is Deputy News Editor. Email him at
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