As high school students ourselves, we experience a great amount of stress on a daily basis which can be triggered by many factors. Ranging from a large workload to internal and external conflicts with other angsty individuals, to a lack of sleep, we have often times found that the stress from these conflicts overwhelms our ability to react to bad situations in a constructive way. A study done by the center for adolescent help found that the five stressors most commonly felt by adolescents were school work (78%), parents (68%), romantic relationships (64%), friends’ problems (64%), and younger siblings (64%). (teenhelp.com ). Four of these problems directly involve dealing with other parties, and school work can also be indirectly affected by conflicts you have with your teachers, fellow students, etc. Drawing on personal experience, all four of our group members agreed that conflict resolution can be a daunting task since conflicts that you have with other people become infinitely more stressful when they involve conflicts within yourselves (as they very often do).
What it does
The Mind Labyrinth is a simple-to-use online web application which prompts your responses and changes its questions according to what you likely feel the need to talk about the most. It is aimed at helping people facing peer-to-peer conflict who are unsure as to what to do next. Through guiding you through a process of calm thinking on your state of affairs, it ensures you feel that you have a complete understanding on your own self-actualization. Instead of directly telling you what to do, the Mind Labyrinth helps you to reflect on your actions and the consequences. This way, you can make the most rational decision based on your situation and your own perception of what would most likely happen next. Using this method, the Mind Labyrinth is able to help with a large group of individuals facing a variety of personal situations. We believe that if The Mind Labyrinth were used frequently by people around the globe to help logically mediate their choices, the world would be a better place for all.
How we built it
Conflict-induced stress is inevitable within our daily lives, and it is often difficult to find solutions to these conflicts. We envisioned the Mind Labyrinth as an online space that acts as a virtual therapist, helping those who are conflicted to express their inner thoughts, let out their emotions, and ultimately, resolve themselves with 100% confidentiality. We built the Mind Labyrinth on a domain given to one of us for an online course using a text editor with PHP processing and HTML and CSS for the website framework. We took special consideration of the visual aspect of this work, with the logo being hand drawn and later rendered in Photoshop Mobile, and the monochromatic colors chosen to prevent ’jarring’ or intimidating a user that is already in a likely striking situation (The background is chosen from subtlepatterns.com and the fonts are chosen from fonts.google.com accordingly.).
Challenges we ran into
This being our first hackathon for all four of our members meant that we went into this having a very bare knowledge of what to expect to do with the twelve hours given to work on our project. The fact that we assembled a team within the first hour of the hackathon (with half of our members not having known each other) also meant that we were unsure as to what assets we all could bring to the table and what our team dynamic would result into. We spent the first two of those twelve hours frantically individually typing into a Google Doc ideas we had as a brainstorming technique (which retrospectively was probably not the greatest way to manage our time) before finding the idea of helping individuals with conflict resolution. That being said, by the end of the project we were all confident that we came out as better teammates in addition to being better hackers!
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
Although we only had 12 hours to create an extravagant project, we were able to do so with minimal problems and we were productive throughout the day. Starting off having no idea what we were going to make, we ended up with a great project that every team member was proud of and was happy with. In addition to that, it was our first time meeting each other, so our ability to cooperate and work well with a new group of people that we had just met was something to be proud of. As a team of students sharing the same interests, we were able to overcome challenges that we faced, and along the way know more about each other and discover new things about ourselves as well. We managed to fulfill many of our personal goals, have a lot of fun during the process, and create a project beyond what we had expected first entering into the hackathon. We have also received public recognition for our efforts by receiving the “Best First Time Hack” award at Iroquois Ridge High School on December 3rd during Local Hack Day, something which left us all just as satisfied at the end of the day as the character development we felt we all achieved.
What we learned
This may have been our first hackathon, but it certainly won't be our last! Overall, all of our team members came to a consensus at the end of the awards ceremony that we had progressed as individuals on our general problem solving, collaboration, and initiative skills. Specifically, we also all became more proficient in website building, as we all collaborated on creating every element of the website as a team.
What's next for Mind Labyrinth
As individuals who are genuinely passionate about this never-ending issue, we plan on expanding the accessibility of the Mind Labyrinth and improving it by making the Labyrinth more complex. The first step is to contact real therapists and psychologists and have their input on how they consult with their patients. This way, we can develop more “routes” or “paths” in the labyrinth, allowing it to meet the needs of a larger variety of people and a larger variety of situations. We also plan on seeking funding/sponsorship to create a more accessible domain name so that we can have it appear on major search engines when people search things like how to best confront someone, deal with doubt in their relationships with other people, and similar situations. Although the motive of the Mind Labyrinth is simply to relieve one’s stress, little by little, we believe that it has the potential to change the lives of individuals across the globe.
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