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Crocheted frogs spread joy around campus

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The anonymous UNC Crochet Frogger leaves tiny crocheted frogs hidden around campus. Photo contributed by the UNC Crochet Frogger.

Since September, students have been finding crocheted frogs across campus hidden on bookshelves, in the grass or even in classrooms.

These frogs are part of an unofficial scavenger hunt: photos of the frogs are posted on the Instagram account @crochetfrogsunc at least twice a week with a hint revealing their location. Each is found within a few minutes.

The account is run by an anonymous student under the name of UNC Crochet Frogger, who said their therapist taught them how to crochet as a coping skill for anxiety.

The Crochet Frogger said they started crocheting more as a way to destress following the on-campus shooting in August, and they began making crocheted frogs for their friends.

“I gave it to them and just saw how happy it made them, and so I was like ‘Oh, I can do that for people. I can make them feel happy,’” they said. "So then I started crocheting frogs and leaving them around campus.”

They said their brother suggested making an Instagram account to help people find the frogs. Since then the account has amassed over 1,000 followers, and they have hidden dozens of frogs.

The Crochet Frogger also posts mental health resources for students, on and off campus.

For World Mental Health Day, they even collaborated with suicide prevention organization Walk. Support. Glow. to hide frogs with notes containing the information of various organizations.

The Crochet Frogger said that mental health is an issue close to their heart, and that they want to make these resources more accessible.

“I know how it feels to be in that super dark place and to not know what’s coming next or what to do next, and now that I’m in a better place, I know how bright it is and how light it can be,” they said. “So, I want people who are in that darker place to know that there is good things coming and that there’s better things coming.”

UNC first-year Simran Panda described the account’s posts as motivating and said they encouraged her to follow UNC's Counseling and Psychological Services on Instagram.

“I think what I really liked is that someone cared and was selfless enough to put in so much effort by themselves and get nothing in return other than other people’s happiness,” she said.

The Crochet Frogger also collaborated with Comfort Creatures, a crochet business run by UNC first-year Emilie Powell, for a finals exam crochet drop last semester. During this, students could find crocheted frogs, penguins and more items throughout campus.

Powell said the collaboration began in mid-November, and they both spent around two weeks planning and creating the items to provide students with a break from studying.

“I think our thought process was ‘this’ll maybe help lighten the mood a bit,’” they said.

UNC senior Bailey Hall said the account inspired her to learn how to crochet and take advantage of campus resources — even Davis Library. She said she enjoys how the account shows appreciation for students and goes beyond just posting content.  

The Crochet Frogger said that the account has also had a positive effect on themself and their social anxiety.

“I think having the account and talking to people and responding to people is sort of like little bits of exposure therapy,” they said. “So, it’s been a really positive impact for me in that way of that I’m learning how to talk to people that I’m unfamiliar with and communicate with people.”

For this semester, the Crochet Frogger said they have plans to do another finals week drop with Comfort Creatures. They also have an ongoing collaboration with TEDxUNC, with 15 frogs available to win.

@http_shreya

@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

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