Bitter sweet

Minus the bumps in the road and the never ending change in timeline of this process, I am more than satisfied with the final outcome of my project site. Before beginning this course, I never in a million years thought that it would impact my life as much as it did. However, it is the sole reason that I was able to make an immense shift in my life in terms of technology. More specifically, it encouraged me to create a list of 15 ways to use technology less, and furthermore, act on them for 15 days straight. This experience changed my life for the better, and that is all thanks to the minor in writing.

Even though it is upsetting to think about the fact that my minor in writing experience has come to an end, I am happy to know that my project has the ability to improve others lives, just as it did to mine. I encourage all millennials who are reading this post to check out the link to my site below, and to try out my 15 challenges to disCONNECT!

Link to my project site:

What NOT to do.

After contemplating which project pitch I wanted to choose and finally coming to a decision, I felt immensely relieved. I thought the hardest part of the process was over, however, I soon realized that this was not the case.

The next step of the process was to create a timeline for the project. The actual making of the timeline was not the extremely difficult part, it was the sticking to the timeline that I began to struggle with. When creating the timeline, it was not very simple to predict my schedule for the remainder of the semester and take into account my commitments outside of this course. Life began to get in the way, and the deadlines I made for myself began to become unrealistic. This caused my timeline to be a continuous revision that I updated and changed multiple times throughout the semester.

Although I put a lot of time and effort into my original timeline, reflecting back on this process, I wish that I had devoted even more time to it. Taking the time to closely examine the dates of my other course deadlines, extra curricular activity events, and any friends and family commitments that I had during the semester, would have made it significantly easier for me to stick to my original deadlines.


I am a strong believer in signs.

During the second stage of the capstone process, I began to panic. It was time to choose ONE project pitch and turn it into a project proposal, yet I was still madly in love with each one of my ideas. I had absolutely zero clue how I was going to possibly pick only one of them. It was not until I heard a sermon given at Hillel on campus that I finally came to a decision. I was waiting and waiting for something to pull me towards one of my ideas, and this sermon was the sign I had been waiting for.

The sermon discussed the reality that social media has caused our society to lose our true selves, and ignore what actually matters in life. I have always wanted to change my social media and technology habits, but have never had enough motivation to do so. The combination of this speech and this capstone project were the motivation that I had been lacking.

That being said, my advice to future capstone students would be to not come into the semester with a set idea of exactly what you want to do for your capstone project. In my opinion, it is much better to approach this class with an open mindset, because you never know what other people or experiences will influence you to do.

Time flies

Wow— where did the time go!? The beginning of capstone feels like yesterday. I remember feeling overwhelmed, lost (which is completely normal for all of you future capstone students) but excited all at the same time.  However, there was a downside to my excitement. I was equally excited about each one of my project pitches. Four ideas that I wanted to follow through on, and only time to choose one. Indecisiveness has always been a flaw of mine, so alternating back and forth between which pitch I thought I was going to choose was definitely part of my process. Which again, is completely normal and almost to be expected.

Before beginning this course, I was most concerned with the lack of ideas that I had for my project. Little did I know, the biggest problem that I encountered was having too many ideas! There was something about each one of my pitch’s that was meaningful to me, which made it extremely hard to let go of the three that I did not choose to pursue. If only there were time to do them all…


Close your eyes, and leap!

If I could give one piece of advice to future gateway students, it would be to not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. This course is not your typical writing course— you will not be given an assignment where you are told exactly what to do with specific detailed guidelines.

Instead, you will be given the chance to go in whatever direction that you desire. Some may view this as a beautiful task, while others may view it as a disastrous task. Prior to taking this course, I used to be that someone who dreaded this kind of freedom. I preferred more structured assignments and disliked those where I had the ability to add more individuality. But both my classmates and the instructor of this course encouraged me to approach writing very differently.

They pushed me to challenge myself. They pushed me to take on tasks that I wasn’t confident I could necessarily complete. And they gave me the confidence that I was lacking. Without this wonderful community of support, I would have never had the courage to follow through with my projects or to take risks in my writing. So I encourage you to embrace the freedom of this course. Your college experience will be full of classes that contain boring, scripted assignments where there is little room for creativity. There will be less times that allow you the opportunity to be in control. This gateway course is one of those times, so don’t hesitate! As my favorite musical states in the song Defying Gravity, “Close [your] eyes, and leap.” Good luck!!



Confession: I am an Instagram addict

As a nineteen year old girl who spends way more time on Instagram than she should, I am extremely familiar with this social media outlet. I probably spend more hours of my day on Instagram than I do on any other form of social media. This addiction has made my process of creating project III very enjoyable. However, the way that I am using Instagram to create a social media campaign for Slow Fashion is quite different than how I am used to using Instagram on a daily basis…

The hardest part of this process has been generating captions that use the right techniques to be as persuasive as possible. It is taking longer than I thought because I am used to just captioning my own photos on Instagram something silly without giving it much thought— much more thought is required when I am trying to convince young teens to change their current habits. But the fact that I am exposed to so many Instagram accounts everyday has been extremely helpful in this process because I have been able to reflect on what kinds of photos/captions have been effective or impacted me and what kinds have not. Social media may have negative effects these days, but at least its benefitting me for this project! 0d723b640fb899752fd26d469edff45f

When you realize you are your biggest pet peeve…

Many people share similar pet peeves: obnoxiously loud chewing, the scratching of nails on a chalkboard, clicking of pens in a silent library, slow walkers, etc. Although I do experience all of these annoyances, for me, liars take the win. Nothing makes me more angry than liars. I will never understand how someone can look someone else in the eye, and tell a complete lie. Maybe this is because I am an extremely honest person. Maybe this is because I am an extremely gullible person. Maybe this is because I tend to easily trust what I am told by others. Maybe this is because I have never told a lie before. Or maybe its because I have been lied to before. But lying is that number one thing for me that causes my body to tighten up and cringe. When I find out someone has lied, I simply cannot wrap my head around it.


Confession: I did not post my entire piece from the most dangerous writing app because I was embarrassed about what came next when I ran out of things to say. Hence the title…

Third times a charm

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One of the two times that I failed before getting this post written…

A deer in headlights. This is what my friends refer to me as. It all started when my friend took a picture of me. For some reason, every time a photograph of me is taken on an iphone, my eyes turn bright red. Everyone else’s eyes remain their natural color. But mine? Nope. Mine turn as red as fire. So now, whether my picture is being taken or not, my new nickname is a deer in headlights (sometimes shortened to DIH).

This nickname has evolved over time. One rare sunny Ann Arbor day, I went for a run. My friend spotted me as she was driving by and shouted “GAZELLE!” out the window. When I later asked her why she shouted that, she told me it was because I reminded her of a gazelle. DIH was quickly replaced, and I was now referred to as a “gazelle” by my peers.

At first, I took this nickname as quite offensive. I was unsure of whether being compared to a lean, long legged animal was a positive or a negative thing. Although I laughed whenever “gazelle” remarks were made, deep down, I looked at this nickname as rather negative. Since I grew up as being awkwardly taller than all of my friends, I have always been a little self-conscious about my height. However, my parents always told me that I should stand tall, and be confident in all of my 5 feet and 8 inches. When thinking about this, and thinking about the nickname gazelle, I’ve realized that my friends are giving me a compliment.gazelle-49

My own “work in progress”

To be honest, before exploring past Eportfolios on my own, I was not really looking forward to creating one for myself. During class time, I had yet to discover an Eportfolio that drew me in and excited me about this final project. But when exploring several more this past weekend, I saw how unique these websites can truly be.

The one that excited me the most was Maya Kalman’s. For starters, I loved that her Eportfolio had a unique title and was not simply “Maya Kalman’s Eportfolio”. The fact that it said “Work In Progress” on the homepage caused me to want to continue exploring her website right from the beginning. I really enjoyed the color schemes she decided to use because it was not too overwhelming. She stuck to mostly black, white, and grey, and then added a pop of color on each page for emphasis. Another aspect that I thought worked extremely well was how she wrote “Click here to read..”. This made everything very organized and clear, and her use of photographs kept the portfolio interesting! Lastly, it was great to see that Maya used her Eportfolio in the future for “more writing” and added creative and professional work to her site as well.

Maya’s site gave me a lot of ideas for what I want to include in my own “Work In Progress”, and showed me that it’s possible for your personality to come out in this project.

Technologically Challenged

For my project III, I am not quite sure what I am going to create yet. My project II consisted of an issue for a digital magazine on campus called SHIFT based on the Slow Fashion Movement, so one idea I had was to promote this movement through a series of advertisements. I also thought it could be interesting to create some sort of video, whether it is a “commercial” type video for Slow Fashion, or a video that includes footage from the students that I interviewed based on the “What’s in my closet?” youtube clips. I thought I could record the students answering some of the questions that I asked them and actually showing certain items that are in their closets in order to convince the audience to want to change their current ways of consumption. However, I have also come across several intense photographs that display how fast fashion is harming both workers and our environment that I believe could be extremely effective in making others realize the importance of this movement. I am thinking about using these photos in combination with a voiceover to promote Slow Fashion. The only thing that is causing me to rethink these ideas is that I am technologically challenged when it comes to making movies!