AUWCL Takes on “Duck Syndrome” for National Rubber Duck Day

Jan. 14, 2020

Rubber ducks with positive messages on them.

American University Washington College of Law students gave each other the gift of encouragement during “Duck Day” on Monday, Jan. 13.

In recognition of National Rubber Duck Day, AUWCL’s Office of Student Affairs encouraged students to pick up a rubber duck in The Commons and write a message about their law school experience—a personal victory, a struggle, or an uplifting message—on the bottom, before placing it around the AUWCL campus for others to find. Students were also encouraged to take a duck to keep.

The event brought light to “Duck Syndrome,” a term coined by psychologists for students that may seem to be “floating along” fine, but under the surface are struggling to stay above water with various responsibilities and worries, including grades, work, organization, imposter syndrome, interviewing, and making social connections.

Students write positive messages on the bottom of rubber ducks.

“Duck Day” was sponsored by Crowell & Moring, and paid homage to founder Eldon “Took” Crowell and the law firm’s 40th anniversary. Took encouraged his colleagues to not take life too seriously and began placing rubber ducks around the firm, which is now adorned with hundreds of ducks.

“We are grateful to Crowell & Moring for allowing us to share in their celebration, and to support our students,” said Associate Dean of Student Affairs David Jaffe. “We encourage all of our students to be serious, but not too serious. We will host wellness events throughout the semester, in addition to weekly mindfulness meditation and yoga sessions free to the WCL community."

Learn more about the Office of Student Affairs and its student wellness programs here.