My Gallery, My Showcase, My Wix

We took a class trip to see a project. The focus of Sinking Cities was the effects of climate change on cities around the world. The pictures, videos, and articles were showcased on the second floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. It was eloquently presented, capturing your attention with flowing water and the flowing stories.

With this presentation fresh in my mind, I knew that where I exhibited and how I showcased my project would be important. Both are influential in how the audience understands the project. Additionally, the presentation method gives context to how the audience should interpret it. Bright, fun colors will have a more humorous, upbeat review of the piece. While a dark background will have the opposite effect.

For my own project, I knew that I wanted it to be sentimental and cheerful. I choose my project to be exhibited on Wix, for its user-friendly and creative interface. I found a theme, equipped with flowers and bold writing that would be perfect. I changed the color scheme from brighter pinks to darker purples, holding true to the feminine nature yet dampening down the overly cheesy hot pinks.

I kept the flowers to add to the feminine aspects and carried the theme throughout. I kept all of the colors consistent on every page and I did the same uniform format for the dedication pages. Each person got a title, quote, a few pictures, and their own little bio.

The last changes that I made were recommendations from my workshop. I switched my introduction from a separate page onto the scrolling home page. I added more multimedia aspects to my dedication pages. Lastly, I finished up a few extra pages, making sure to keep them uniform to the rest of the project per a recommendation.

Overall, I am incredibly happy with how the site turned out and how it showcases my project. Wix, you’ve been a blessing.


When Writing About Other People

While the title may sound like I am gossiping, I can assure you I am not. At least in this blog, I am probably texting someone in iMessage at the same time though. These people that I am texting are some of my best friends. My topic for my capstone project is friendship. I am specifically dedicating a page to each of these friends.

I want these pages to be humorous and sentimental. I have already added pictures and quotes. I even added a short note about all the things I appreciate about them. However, in my capstone workshop, my peers asked for more: more stories, more pictures, more about these people and our relationships.

I understand. They do not know my friends as well as I do. Yet, in this constructive recommendation from the audience, I started to contemplate my project. I am writing about the people closest to me, to them. So how am I supposed to tailor that to a wider audience?

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As I reflect on certain moments in each of my friendships, I have to sift through them and think of what would appeal to a broader audience. I want those reading my capstone to connect with my friends as I have. I want them to compare their own friends to mine and find some humor in the similarities.

To do so, I need to balance writing about other people with writing to other people. I can tailor my content to include moments others might connect with. I can include stories about how I met my friends and screenshot of our text messages. I can add more pictures. I can add more quotes.

Once I do so, this project could inspire many to think about why their friends are so important to them as I reflect on why mine are important to me.

The Late Rush

I always do this. I saw I am going to do differently. I saw that I am going to change. I saw that I am going to finish things early. But things always remain the same.

No matter how many times I write it in my planner or Google Calendar, I am always doing my assignments late. I have been in school for 16+ years now and I have not been able to fix my habit of procrastination. It is now part of my writing process. I was supposed to challenge myself this semester to change my process. I wanted to stop procrastinating and start planning. However, as I sit here typing away hours before a deadline, it seems like nothing has changed.

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I have developed further processes that seem to promote my current habits. I can now type most of my pieces on my phone, in the dark, at all times of the night. I learned that I produce better work under these conditions, especially under the stress of the impending due date.

While that is all fine and dandy for my education (probably not, but I only have four days left so why contemplate), it cannot happen in my future job. I want, no, I need to change these habits. I need to follow my planner, calendar, sticky notes, and alarms. I need to prioritize my work over trivial things like Netflix and conflicting plans. The disappointment I feel in myself every single time that I wait to do an assignment and turn in work with half the effort has to stop.

I can do better. I can be better. I can stop procrastinating.

It will take some time. I will backslide a few times. But if I work on changing my mindset, really, really work at, then I can change.

My Writing Ritual:

So I have a problem. Well, I have problems. I approach the “real world” in a few months. However, ignoring that fact, there is one problem that we can address, and potentially find a solution for on this blog, is my inability to establish a writing ritual. In the past few years, my writing experience has been entirely focused on succeeding in my academic and professional pursuits. I tackle long essays, dead-end blogs, tedious discussion posts, and overly braggy cover letters.

To create these various forms of writing, I would need to be in what I considered the “writing mood.” This state is my writing nirvana, a whole separate world for myself and the page in front of me. While this mood is obviously good for productivity and creativity, I rarely get a chance to experience it. The “writing mood” tends to bless me when I have completely procrastinated and need to get something done. My problem is that I do not want to wait until every deadline to enjoy the efficiency of this writing state. I want to find a ritual that helps me get there every time.

I have pinpointed a few key steps that help get me in this motivated mood. I enjoy being in my apartment in dimmer lighting. That helps narrow my focus on the glowing screen. Additionally, I enjoy the pressure of a deadline and the narrowing time on the clock on the corner of my laptop. Hopefully, through trial and error, I will recognize the steps to my writing ritual and get in my productive “writing mood” each time. I will keep you updated with my progress and success throughout the semester as the need for this mood increases with my two writing classes ūüôā


Advice for the Future Gateways

Advice for the Future Minor in Writing Students

1. Take T for the Gateway ;).

Actually, all of the professors are amazing in the minor in writing. I just have a preference because I had T!

2. Make sure to meet and befriend people in your class.

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Found on Giphy.

You may be sharing some personal thoughts and work during the class. Getting to know the people in your class will allow you to create a more comfortable space for you, and probably them to share. Plus these people might be taking the same requirements with you in the future. We will know that there are a lot of benefits to knowing someone in your class: someone to sit next by and for when you forget to write down the homework.

3. Speaking of forgetting, do your drafts and blog posts!

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Found on Giphy.

I always say that I work better under pressure so I do things last minute. I really don’t so don’t be me. The professors do a really amazing job of scheduling drafts in advance of the due date. This allows for the low-stress creation of your projects and experiments.

4. Participate, Participate, Participate.

You will gain a lot more from the class if you participate. You will also get to meet more of your classmates (advice point #2) and learn more about yourself as a writer. If you need a second look at any of your pieces/experiments/projects, volunteer for a workshop. It might seem intimidating but your classmates are nice and beautiful people so their feedback will be constructive. As cliche as it is, having a second pair of eyes, or eighteen pairs of eyes, on your project will be beneficial for the editing and revising processes.

(P.S. Read your¬†daily prompt writings in your writer’s notebook. The professors love it and it will also help your classmates feel comfortable to share also)

5. Pick a topic for your experiment that you really enjoy.

You will be working on these pieces for a few months so make sure you feel that you can create three separate, equally amazing pieces. I fell in love with my third experiment, which I followed into my final project (and hopefully my capstone project). I wish the same excitement for you!

Enjoy the class and the minor in writing! We are excited for you to join us!


summer is coming

Summer is Coming and


This semester has been rough. I am finishing up the second semester of junior year at this lovely University. I have an internship position in Florida this summer at a company that I would love to work at after school. I am hopefully passing my last Spanish class (fingers crossed for me). These may seem like positives but it has been quite a ride to achieve these milestones.

There has been an inner struggle, and I think many people feel the same way, to figure out what I really want to do with my life. We are at the age, or at least junior year, where people are starting to think about grad school, start taking the MCAT and the LSAT, and here I am not considering another 2-4-8 years in school. I love this place but I can’t imagine spending another couple of years in a classroom. I enjoy working so I hope to find a job after school that fits that. A job, any job, would be fine. I just want to be that senior who relaxes because they are employed and are not stressing over the fact for their last semester of school.

In relation to writing for this summer, the Gateway class has prepared me to have more meaningful conversations about what is on my mind. It also inspired me to read as many books as possible to try and find my voice more in preparation for the capstone this upcoming year. Hopefully, I can find the time during my forty hours weeks to sneak a few pages of reading in a day or while I am laying on the beach. My goal is to finally finish the Harry Potter series.

I look forward to seeing you all back here in Fall 2018 for the best senior year ever!

~Julia S.

Let’s Get Insta Famous!!!

Found on the Airbnb of Fashion Blog

My Final Project: @howimetmybestfriend

This project is an extension¬†of my experiment #3. For all three of my experiments, I wanted to address a very undervalued part of our lives: friendship. Throughout the broader theme of friendship, I focused on how best friends first met. Movies and books always romanticize this “meet-cute” where a couple makes an immediate connection. Just add in a montage, breakup scene, and reconciliation, and you get your typical romantic comedy.

I wanted to take this “meet-cute” idea and make it more inclusive. Everyone might not remember how they met they met their best friend, but you can assume that there was one moment where you bonded and the rest was history. I wanted to capture these moments. I am no photographer nor interviewer so I went with a medium that I knew very well: Instagram.¬†

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Found on Giphy

There are quite a few couples Instagrams¬†about the way that people met (i.e. @thewaywemet) but there was a hole in the consumer market that I could fill. There was little to no well-followed Instagrams about how people met their best friends. The example couples Instagrams used submissions from around the world to feed their¬†weekly posts. These submissions would include a few pictures and a short story about their “meet-cute.” My project would be doing the same. I ask that the submissions would be around 100-200 words and include 1-2 photos of yourself and your best friend.

I am ecstatic to see the reach of the project. My gateway class has been really supportive of the idea, as are my friends and family. I hope that this project prompts people to take a moment and appreciate those in their lives¬†that don’t get as much recognition as one’s boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, or partner does. I also hope that the project helps those reconnect with their best friends that they might have lost touch with over the years.

My biggest worry is that I won’t receive¬†submissions for my final project and that the Instagram won’t gain recognition¬†in the future. I can already see the benefits of this Instagram on people’s faces when they talk about meeting their best friend and wanting to submit a piece. If I can gain more followers, I will be able to make people happy with these stories all over the world.

Please follow me on Instagram, linked above, and I will keep you updated on my Insta’s progress!

Julia S.

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Found on Tenor GIF Keyboard