It’s done! It’s FINALLY done!!

After so many countless hours of painstaking work not only in the writing process but also in creating the website, my capstone project is ready for the world to see! If you’re interested in learning about a girl’s boarding school experience and her journey of growth, click here!

Thank you so much to T and my wonderful class for all of your guidance and help throughout this process. It truly couldn’t have been done without you. And special shoutout to my siblings for sharing their insight regarding their own boarding school experiences, and my cousin who helped me oh so much in making my website just how I want it.

Happy reading y’all!

From me to you

So you’re about to embark on your capstone journey and have no idea where to begin…Or maybe you do have an idea but after the first class it all feels suddenly not feasible or too overwhelming…well I got something to share with you….that was me too!!

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But don’t worry, you will make it I promise. Here’s some advice on how to get through this semester no matter what obstacles lie ahead:

Having to shift to an online experience 2/3 into the semester at a time where things were starting to officially happen for myself with my project and the pressure was starting to increase definitely added a layer of complexity to my progress. I felt discouraged and demotivated and like my work just no longer felt relevant. But when that happens, my biggest advice to you is to find a way to make your work relevant. For me, as my piece is about my family, I found a way to shift my perspective and consider it as a gift to my parents who are healthcare workers and to my siblings who have been constant supports in my life. It was no longer about the project itself, it became something much more personal. And adding that personal level to it reignited my passion and motivation to continue working on it. So if you find yourself losing interest, find a way to change that for yourself, whether it be through restructuring the ultimate purpose of your piece, or reframe what it would mean for your audience or for you, or in another way entirely. Change can be really exhausting and cumbersome to accommodate, but it can also be very valuable. The shift to online courses led me to have much more space and time to put more focus on my Capstone, which is something I honestly am grateful for. So as much as it’s truly valid necessarily to recognize all the things that went wrong and how that impacted you…try to also look for the positives when something like this is happening. Because there can be pros and cons to every situation 🙂 

More generally my advice to you, writers, is Be patient with yourself. It’s okay to not know what you want the purpose of your piece to be until way later in the semester. It’s okay to write and scratch and write and scratch a million different times. It’s okay to feel uncertain. But keep pushing out content in whatever manner that is for you. Keep writing, keep talking about it with your friends or peers or mentors, whoever can help you draw more inspiration. Keep asking for feedback. hold yourself accountable. Schedule in your plans and goals. And most importantly, remember that this capstone can be so much more than a simple academic project if you choose it to be.

I hope this helped a little and I wish you all the very best in your own Capstone journey. there was a point in time when I genuinely didn’t think I could do this…and I survived. I know y’all can too!!

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I’m Kind of Stressed ngl…

So I know I am supposed to use this post to talk about what my project is and how it’s going, but if I’m being honest I think I’m still wondering the same thing…

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Okay, Okay, I know this is mostly on me since I probably should have been spending much more time on it than I actually have, but the more I wrote the more I felt stuck until all together I quit mentally for a bit.

HOWEVER, having my workshop date looming over my head and realizing the progression of everyone else really put things into perspective and gave me the pressure push I needed. THERE IS LESS THAN 7 WEEKS LEFT…and I have quite a bit of work to do. So I pulled myself together and decided to make a plan on Monday to have a complete (or roughly complete) draft by next Sunday to show for during my workshop. I am putting that deadline on this blog to hold myself much more accountable as well.

THE PROJECT…so, on Monday I spent a lot of time reorganizing and drafting and realized that while I am still struggling to exactly decipher the purpose of my project and the target audience, but as of now it feels like it is centered around the concept of “growth.” I will be using my high school experience at a boarding school as well as experiences in college and additional research to supplement whatever I choose to make my main argument at the end but I tried spending this week just free writing.

Given the fact that we are in the midst of a literal pandemic…

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inspiration and concentration has been hard to come by. BUT I am finally getting back into the swing of things today and hoping to get back on an academic track for next week. Once I really figure out more specifically what I want my project to be about and what purpose I want it to serve, I’ll keep y’all updated!

Am I back at square one…

okay no I can’t be because I think I definitely have the idea for my capstone down. I know the topic, I’m sure of it. But..that’s about it…

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But okay that’s okay, I’m breathing and I’m still quite excited and I still have time on my side I think. I definitely didn’t even think I would be able to fully write out one pitch, but hey, that happened…4x! And I surprised myself with the way I began to think. I was actually somewhat creative. And class was super helpful in allowing me to get some input on which of my ideas were the most interesting and of course also provided me with some validation. But the aspects that my peers like the most are the parts of my project that I’m most terrified of committing to. But it’s senior year second semester. I’m about to graduate. I’m about to begin stepping out of this bubbly comfort of academia into another realm of reality. So it’s about time for some risk taking right?

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Then why do I still feel so jittery? Someone in class compared this capstone project to a sort of thesis. Boy did I not realize what I signed up for. And yet, I still can’t help but feel so excited. So excited to create something original and big and personal. So excited to have a finish product that I can look back at and feel accomplished about. So excited to really feel like I’m shaping the culmination of my college years. So, I’ve decided to push away the thoughts of worry currently racing through my head, and instead approach this project with a positive, calm, and hopeful mind. I have so many wonderful people to help me along the way too, so what could really go wrong?

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advice from an aspiring writer…

Don’t be afraid to get messy. Those are the first words in my writing notebook and some of the first words T told me when I began this semester. And now I’d like to pass these words of wisdom along to future aspiring writers. For me, this class, and honestly this whole semester, has been all about taking risks. Taking risks with my experiments, with my portfolio, with my writer’s notebook, with myself…I’ve found that I have pushed myself a lot farther and tested my limits quite a bit as a writer, and I am really happy that I did. My notebook is filled with rough drafts of reflections, of poems, of stories, even of drawings and “art” (although it may just look like “A for effort” attempts to the public eye…), and it’s LOADED with scribbles. But I made it a rule to right everything in pen and in markers, in permanent ink. That way, even when I mess up and scratch out whatever it is I was trying to say or do, it’s still there—barely, but visible enough for me to be able to constantly remind myself that writing and creating is a PROCESS. Every product of my thoughts and creations does not have to be the “finished” piece or the most polished it can be right from the start.

I used to be afraid to write for fun or write in my journal when I had random and incohesive thoughts and ideas and rants jumbled in my head. It’s not that I didn’t want to write them down or remember them forever, I was just nervous to include them in my journal without thinking everything through thoroughly, because I wanted my journal and all my writing in general to be well-crafted and coherent. But I started realizing that I was holding myself back. And I ended up not writing at all for the most part.

That’s why this semester I made a deal with myself to let my writing and my journal get messy. The journal itself is slightly tattered and torn and some of the pages are falling out. But I like it because it feels more me and more real than ever. And the idea of not caring has allowed me to express myself in more ways than ever.

So, with that I hope you, too, realize the power of mishaps and carelessness at times, and come to learn yourself that it’s okay to be messy. Don’t be afraid. Be bold!

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Experimenting Got Me Like…

I did it. I’m currently doing it. I’m making things happen.

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I never thought it was possible, honestly. Past students had such cool projects, and I didn’t think I had an artistic bone in my body that allowed me to go beyond the words and produce something new. Words were my comfort blanket, I didn’t want to expand. I didn’t want to experiment. Yet, here I am, making it happen.

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As this semester comes to a close and this course comes to an end, I’m realizing that I should step outside my comfort zone more often. Heck, for my third experiment I literally drew out a plan to write a novel. Now I feel like I should just see it through…maybe one day I will! Especially, since I now even have an idea of what it could be about and who it could be for.

However, for the final project, I’m glad I decided to follow through with my zine experiment. It’s tough enough to make it a quality piece, but it’s doable. And I’m excited to see the finished product. I’m planning on asking other zinesters I know to give me new insights and ideas to make my zine the best it can be, and I’m looking forward to creating something new and unlike anything I’ve done before. As the semester comes to a close, I’m feeling pretty content with the outcome. I enjoyed the experimenting and being able to dip my toes into different genres. It’s opened my eyes to a bunch of new layers to writing that I’m excited to test out in the future!

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Periods Galore

So, throughout this semester, I’ve been working to transform my period manifesto (yes, I wrote a manifesto about periods whilst in pain on my period) into different genres that could capture the words/meaning of the manifesto in a different light.

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Growing up, I’ve always associated having my period with being unclean or feeling embarrassed, even though more than half of our world’s population goes through the same exact thing every single month for a large portion of their lifespan. And lately, I’ve been getting fed up with it. This project has been a way for me to express my feelings of “rebellion” while also allowing me to normalize the idea that women menstruate—I menstruate—regularly and it’s okay to talk about it.

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For my final project I have decided to create a zine dedicated to periods. This zine will be both informative as well as anecdotal and FUN. It’s going to have content ranging from tips to deal with cramps and worst period memories to frequently asked questions by guys and why it’s important to normalize periods. The last page (the back of the cover) will be the original manifesto! The sketch draft has given me a lot of help in planning out what I’d like to put on each page and how exactly I want the zine to be formatted. I’m pretty nervous at having to continue this project mainly because the media I have been working with to create the zine can be quite obnoxious and tedious to use. I am also worried that the end piece won’t publish the way I am hoping for it to onto my website because I’d much rather the actual flipbook appearance than simple screenshots. However, I have already finished a few of the pages through experiment 1 and am really looking forward to seeing how the final product will come out to be. Here’s a sneak peak of the cover!

I hope that by the end of this project others will learn more about womanhood, periods, and the power of understanding your body and being proud of how it works—I know I have. And special shout out to girls everywhere who have to work and go about the stresses and struggles that come with living even when on their periods because cramps, mood swings, and all the other side effects can be very hard to deal with. But, you should be proud because you are doing a fantastic job!

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What does it mean to be a writer?

What does it even mean to be a writer? Because as of now I call myself that without having a clue of what it entails. Is it possible to want to write and to enjoy the act without the label?

It wasn’t until I came to college that I felt the need to write. The subject never felt valuable for me, it just felt required—to get through school and applications and standardized tests, as if it was only going to be needed for this one stage in life and then I’d move on. I wanted to move on. But as the times changed, my priorities did as well. I feel like my newfound want and need to write is a sign that I’ve grown up, that I’ve unlocked this whole new level to life and found something of relevance and significance, something to give me a purpose and the world around me a meaning.

But, as much as I feel like I’ve discovered a new passion and a new desire and a new connection to this subject, I still question my ability to carry the label of “writer”. I didn’t spend my childhood reading books upon books or writing down every curious and clever thought I coined in my head. I didn’t journal everyday—I still don’t journal everyday. I don’t have a favorite author or book or genre of writing and story telling and I don’t have that traditional want or need to write that labeled writers seem to have. My fingers don’t tingle to grab a pen or type up a story or create something new. I don’t even know what that feels like or if I’ll ever experience it.

What I do know is that words have been the biggest source of inspiration for me. Whether it be the dialogue of a character, a quote from a movie, conversations I’ve had in person, messages I’ve read via text and email, an article I read online, the speeches I heard through time, or through books, stories, and poetry, words have had a profound influence on me. They have taught me so much. And they have provided me with the knowledge, insight, outlet, power, and most importantly, the motivation to make a difference. They have given me the means to make change.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a writer as of now, but I do know that I have an enormous love for words. And this love is what has driven me to pursue a minor in writing and to never stop appreciating the subject. It’s what has led me to see writing as an art and proficiency in the field as a talent. And maybe (hopefully) someday, I’ll carry the label as well.