Creativity

A few weeks back I embarked on the creation of my first project for my class Digital Media Studio. I had no idea what I was going to do until I had this random inspiration to paint my face and write some sort of narrative surrounding this.

I ended up speaking about my creative process and honestly, the random face painting worked out perfectly for this. So here are some of the pictures that I took and the video that I made after I was finished. I’m really excited with how it turned out and I hope you all enjoy it too!

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As I said in the video, I don’t really consider myself to be an artist but I do love being creative and running with the creativity that is inside me. It’s violent sometimes and all consuming but I create some pretty cool things when I just go with it.
Happy Friday everyone!
And happy spring break to me!!
Sincerely,
Meagan
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Why I Hate the “College Student” Stereotype

I’m sure you’ve all seen these memes before:

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The memes that treat college students like the dumbest, laziest, pettiest people on earth. These memes frustrate me a lot. I hate how the college student stereotype has evolved into such a negative thing.

College educated people used to be looked up upon as a higher class of society. To even be able to go to college was an amazing feat. Now, college is pretty open to most people and many students take advantage of it.

To me, college is an amazing privilege and I think that too many of us attending nowadays don’t take this seriously enough. There have been many days in the past year that I’ve considered dropping out just because I don’t feel like I’m putting my all into my education and I feel guilty about that! Like I’m spending thousands of dollars per semester to get some of the most important education of my life and yet I was so depressed that I could barely do any of my work.

Then, when I attended classes, there were people sitting there that were in the same situation as me grade wise and with hardly any work done but they are in that situation because of excessive partying or laziness. It just blows my mind that some people are willing to throw away this amazing opportunity in order to have a good time.

And that brings me to another point. Since when is college supposed to be the best years of your life?

For me, I am trying to make the most of the time I have at Saint Scholastica and now that I’ve gotten a lot of my mental health under control I can finally realize why people love college so much. There’s so much freedom and being able to spend time with your friends whenever you want is pretty amazing.

So I get that these memes do relate to people, I fully understand that there are people out there like that, I know for a fact that there’s at least one in every class for me. But at the same time, why do we have to stereotype college students in such a negative way. My friends and I are working our butts off, with activities and work every single day and upwards of 18 credits worth of work every single semester. We put our all into our education because we want to be successful and we want to prove that the college student stereotype is false. (At least I want to anyways).

College is more than parties or homework, though. It’s about finding out who you are in this big scary world but still having a buffer to fall back on if things get in your way. We can still change our paths, pretty frequently if you’re me! Or you can just sink into your original path and realize just how meant for you that truly is. There’s so much to learn about and I am so excited for everything I get to do before I graduate.

I hope that those of you who read this post come to appreciate college as much as I have and I hope that more people fight back at the college student stereotype and really show people that we’re more than lazy drunks.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Sincerely,
Meagan

An Open Letter to my Media Literacy Professor

Dear Rob,

First off, I’d like to sum up your class in nine words. Thank you for scaring the shit out of me.

I really do mean that. I appreciated how thought provoking and downright terrifying this class was for me. I think the one thing that stuck out to me over the entire course were the words “if you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention.” This really struck a chord with me and opened my eyes to the way I think.

Today, I couldn’t help but wonder about what anxiety really is and why people have it. It obviously has something to do with the way our brains are wired but I almost wonder if it has anything to do with heightened sensitivities to the world around us. The more I think about it, the more I feel like my anxiety has more to do with the “big questions” than with the stupid rules I make myself. I feel like people with anxiety have a heightened sense of the world and a gut feeling that things don’t necessarily have to be what we’re told they are.

Going into this class, I never expected it to be the way it was. It was weird, and unnerving, and a strange way to start my day every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I learned so much more than I would have expected to considering when I told my roommates what we would talk about they thought you were crazy. I appreciated the strangeness though, I saw a lot of myself in the way you lectured, my friends could probably attest to that. It’s fun to get to talk about stuff that you’re excited about.

This class actually got me pretty motivated to do my own research, to actually learn more independently. I love learning, and I can’t wait to continue on with that for the rest of my life.

So with a final thought:

I think that a heightened sense of media literacy comes with being paranoid, and always questioning things. I think that it comes with the crazy talk and the conspiracy theories. There’s so much of the world that is unknown to us, so much of the universe that hasn’t been seen yet. There’s no way of knowing anything that goes on outside of our own bodies. I hate realizing it, but I have to. Our world is a lot bigger than I want it to be and there’s a lot about it that we don’t know about. We’ve been born into the middle of it and there’s no way out. We can just live.

Anyways, Rob, thank you for being such an awesome professor. Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Meagan

College Doesn’t Feel Like Home

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I’ve been struggling a lot this semester with things. I’m not going to talk outright about what I’ve been struggling with but it’s been difficult and has caused me to really think about where I am as a person and if it’s the right place for me to be.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of going to college. I got so caught up in the stereotypes that we see in television, books, movies, that I always imagined my life to follow these same patterns. Then as my friends who were older than me began to graduate and leave for school I got even more excited and nervous about the future that lie ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn to go off to college.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of my first year of college but I’ll say this: by the time I moved out I left my dorm room with no friends, roommates who couldn’t care less about me (they literally didn’t even think I was still going to continue school this year), and the sense that this school would never quite feel like home to me.

I feel kind of lost this year. Like I don’t quite belong here but also that I have nowhere else to go. I like my classes, for the most part, and I like my job, but other than that I feel like I have no purpose here. Sometimes I wonder why I’m even getting an education except I know that I really have no other choices.

I’m still caught up in the stereotypes. Where you meet your best friends at school, you have fun, you experience things you never have before, you finally live your own life independently. This isn’t my reality, in fact it’s very far from it and I’m having a hard time accepting it.

Lately I’ve gotten better at being able to say that I don’t really need to be the stereotypical college student. I can survive just fine on my own, I know for a fact that I can thrive in solitude. It’s just hard knowing that people look down upon you for that.

I figure I’ll learn to like where I’m at. At least tolerate it long enough to get my degree and then get out of here. I have nothing holding me here, which I enjoy.

I’ve been hesitant to share my experiences at school because I feel like they stray so far from the norm. However, I think it’s a good idea to share. Why? Because I want to help other people understand that there isn’t one way to experience something. I don’t want the stereotypes to win in the end and make everyone try to act the same.

I hope you all enjoy this post and if any of you have had similar experiences, or want to share I’d love to hear about them.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I’m going to try and make a post every day for the next week or so and then ease my way back into twice a week posts as the semester comes to an end.

Sincerely,

Meagan

A Perfectionist’s Worst Nightmare

Two words: group projects.

I have never liked group projects. When I was a kid, I used to just refuse to participate (and by refuse to participate I mean I just didn’t talk or contribute creative ideas, I still ended up doing most of the work).

I thought that once I hit college then maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with group projects as often… But boy was I wrong. Here at CSS I think I’ve done more group work and discussions than I ever did in high school and I still despise them so, so much.

When I do work, I want everything to turn out perfectly. I nitpick things until every detail is just so. I strive to do the best I can and then some. In other words, I want perfection. Group projects throw this off completely. And trust me, I’ve heard all the excuses people make: “it helps you learn how to collaborate”, “it gives you better communications skills and helps you learn how to work with others”, “you get to know more people”, etc, etc. Well, I think this is all a big old lie.

Group projects do nothing for me, in fact, they make me like people less! It drives me crazy that people can just let things go and sacrifice a grade just because they want to be lazy. I always want to take control of the project and just do everything myself because I want everything to turn out to my standards.

Recently, I had a member of a group project tell me: “Oh, if it was a higher stakes assignment I would’ve put more effort into it but since it wasn’t I kind of just let it go.” This really confused me. I can’t put myself into the head of someone who is willing to not put effort into a presentation just because it isn’t worth a lot of points. I mean at the end of a term those few points can really add up to a lot! It could make or break a grade in some cases, I’ve seen it happen.

I like independence. I like being able to do my own work and create things that reflect my effort and my vision. I don’t enjoy being reliant upon others to get to the level that I want my presentations to be at. I don’t like group projects.

Well, now that I’ve effectively brought some angst to your day, I hope you have a great one.

Sincerely,

Meagan

Why I Chose My Majors

So I haven’t quite had the time to sit down and really focus on writing a blog post and I didn’t have any scheduled to automatically post so I decided to let myself take a break from the blog and just start again this week!

So without further ado, I want to talk about why I chose my majors:

History:

First off, I want to share with you a wonderful video about why we should all study the humanities. I thought the information that the information Jean provided was spot on to a lot of my thoughts.

To me, history has always been something that interests me. My favorite books as a kid were Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and Dear America books. I think I read every single Dear America or spin-off book that my library had growing up. I don’t think I ever really translated this interest into something tangible until I did begin college and had to start thinking about what I really wanted to study. I really found my love for history through my love for reading and I feel like the two can really go hand-in-hand.

I chose history because I believe that you have to learn history to make any progress. You have to learn about the mistakes and the triumphs from the past in order to make better decisions in the future. I can’t even begin to emphasize how important I think it is to learn about this world’s history. I constantly want to be able to learn more because I love learning and I really think that by majoring in history I will get to do that.

Now my second major is communications with a focus in media relations. This one would probably surprise a lot of people because I don’t seem like the type of person who would want to communicate with people for a living.

First semester freshman year I took a communications class, one that was required for all freshmen, and I ended up loving it! I find that when I can completely plan out what I’m going to say and give speeches I really enjoy it. I hate public speaking and yet I love it too.

So the degree in communications that I am shooting for is in I guess what I think of it as, a more advertising/graphic design/media path. It’s definitely my kind of communications path.

I chose this because I really enjoy graphic design and media really interests me. After taking that communications class I knew that this could actually be something that could work for me!

I think if it wasn’t obvious enough, I really just chose my majors because I liked what I would be studying. And that’s exactly why you should choose what you study.

Have a nice night everyone.

Sincerely,

Meagan

Why it’s Okay to Change Your Plans

There’s always this underlying look of pity when I tell people that I probably won’t be graduating in four years, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life yet.

I was on break at work the other day when I overheard two freshmen girls talking about how they couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly change their majors after beginning school. They were both set on what they imagined their futures to be that they thought it absolutely insane to hear of someone who had changed their major once, twice, or even five times. It made me sad to realize that there are still so many stereotypes regarding a “typical” college career.

It took me a while to really accept that there is more than one type of college path and it’s more than okay to have a non-traditional path. I myself am on that path, my boyfriend is as well.

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My boyfriend, Ryan, has decided to pursue college after working on more career type things. He’s interested in politics and has chosen to get his foot in the door before focusing on his education. He’s comfortable with knowing that he has something (college) to fall back on if he needs it, and it’s great knowing that you can still expand your life in the future. I think it takes a lot of guts to be able to admit that the path you’re on isn’t “the one” and that you need to change it. Even more guts to be able to jump off the path onto a different one.

I’ve gone back and forth numerous times on whether or not education at this time is relevant to me. In the last few days I’ve come to realize that even though I’m really struggling with where I’m at, I need to stick it out and continue to work towards whatever it is that I want to work towards. I realize that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and life can just keep on trucking. Plans are just plans, they’re not set in stone unless you literally write them on a stone. We have no reason to do things that we don’t want to, or keep working on things that make us unhappy.

At this point in time, I highly doubt that I will be graduating in the cookie cutter four years of college. I’ll probably be spending at least an extra semester here, if not a whole year (though I really haven’t gone too in depth with all the classes I need to take and scheduling and stuff because my advisor isn’t that great of a help, although that’s another story). I could even be graduating on time, although I have no idea. I just know that I’m educating myself in topics that I’m actually interested in, pursuing a degree in both history and communications and minoring in art. All topics that I have come to learn that I loved and feel passionate about.

So I just want to say to the people that pity non-traditional students. Don’t. Not all of us are as happy to accept our educational fates but we have no reason to be pitied. We are all on different paths and that’s okay. Plans change and that’s okay.

And to the two freshmen girls that were “hating” on people that changed their majors. Good luck to you. I hope all your plans work out, and if they don’t I hope you find security in knowing that the future will happen and you’ll graduate. You just don’t have to have a set date.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic day and I’ll talk to you all soon.

Sincerely,

Meagan