It apparently takes more than campus puppies, safe spaces and trigger warnings to keep college students from melting down these days –– especially during final exams.
The latest iteration of emotional accommodations is a “cry closet,” a project by Nemo Miller, an art student at the University of Utah whose creation is an attempt to soften the one-two punch of a stressful finals week.
We’re not kidding.
Twitter user @aJackieLarsen posted a photo of the pop-up closet in the middle of the library –– complete with stuffed animals inside –– for further emotional support.
“So my school installed a cry closet in the library … What is higher education?” she tweeted out.
The post has been earned nearly half a million likes and 160,000 retweets since it was posted Tuesday afternoon.
And though it set Twitter ablaze, the cry closet, in all seriousness, seems nothing more than another inane attempt to infantilize college students even more.
“It seems as a society we are moving fast in the direction of solely validating frustration and desperation –– and paying no mind to the resilience-building enterprise of gleaning learning from adversity and failure,” Carmen Visan, a Seattle-based therapist in private practice, told LifeZette in an email.
“Growth, the ability to care for oneself, to be productive, and to have a robust sense of self only occurs when we successfully regroup from failure or hardship, having learned more about ourselves, our limits, our weaknesses, and our capabilities,” she added.
Dr. Everett Piper, PhD, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan, concurred with that.
“We’ve gone from ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’ to ‘Take care of me, please,'” said Piper in his book, “Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.”
Piper is also a staunch critic of what he refers to as “the sad and dangerous infantilization of the American spirit,” now so commonplace in academia.
The cry closet is surely the latest manifestation of a sorry trend of avoiding adulthood, or trying to for as long as possible.
Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.