Assignment #5: Project Flexibility

For this project, I actually chose 2 projects from the DS106 Assignment Bank that I was a bit familiar with  – one considerably more than the other. One project was focused on writing and the other focused on creating a visual element.

As a humanities major writing comes naturally, so expressing myself was a breeze. This first project was a Self-Wellness Check – which I’m sure we all need this semester. The instructions were pretty simple and I honestly needed a mental check-in. There has been a lot going on in my personal life and while the gym tends to be my preferred emotional release, sometimes it does help to write things down. Journaling has tons of benefits for your mental health. Here’s an article with a few advantages, if you’d like more information from a trusted source.

To get in the right headspace, I put my favorite playlist on and found a quiet spot to reflect. I tapped into my inner Lofi girl and got to work. Here’s how I answered the questions:

  1. What worries me most about the future?

Indecision. I am a terribly indecisive person. I don’t have a specific passion or know “what I wanna be when I grow up”. Even though I am aware that I can just try things out and figure it out over time, I constantly fear that I will make the wrong choice. Especially with my time in college coming to an end soon, the pressure is unbearable when it comes to planning my future.

2. What am I doing about the things that matter most in my life?

Right now, I think I am taking inventory and nurturing the things  I care about most. I feel like I  am in a space where I am figuring out my values and what I care about. And as I have a hard time deciding what these things are, I am trying to take care of each piece as best I can, whether that be my friendships or my health.

3. What do I want most in life?

What I have always wanted in life is to be satisfied and happy with myself wherever I am in life. This is not to say I am unhappy currently, but I don’t want to ever feel uneasy about my lifestyle or my path. This is becoming increasingly difficult as a young 20-something trying to explore independence in New York City.

4. When did I last push the boundaries of my comfort zone?

The last time I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone was in my swim class. This semester I have transformed from someone terrified of drowning to a pretty decent swimmer. A feat I hadn’t yet concurred was diving. Though I am pretty confident in my swimming, diving was a whole new beast. This past weekend we practiced diving into the 14ft end of the pool without life vests. For reference, I am a cool 5 feet 7 inches, so 14ft is a huge jump. I was the last to jump in and I was so scared my toes gripped the edge of the diving board for dear life before I went airborne. The initial splash made my heart race as I sank deep into the pool. After a few seconds of panic, my body floated to the top and I swam to safety faster than I ever had before. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and taught me that sometimes in life you just have to dive in and see for yourself, or you’ll never experience change! Below is a visual representation of what I thought would happen, but I am happy to report that I am just fine.

5. What goals do I need to have to get where I want to be?

I need to aspire to better discern what I can and cannot control in life, find happiness in the things I do on a daily basis, and create space for myself and others to feel safe in figuring things out.

Moving onto the second project, I chose to focus on creating a visual. I love art but don’t have much experience making it virtually. Here are the instructions I followed. For this project, I used Canva, an application I have used once or twice for group projects but never on my own.

I looked through the array of templates for inspiration. A travel ad caught my eye the most. As a college student, it can be hard to have a fun-filled summer since travel could be so expensive. I decided it could be fun to visually advertise a staycation while verbally telling people they can travel the world. New York is the perfect city for this, since you could probably find every culture here.

After I picked a good template, I played around with the settings to create a theme I liked. Then I got to put together a few key images of New York to sell the staycation best. Adding these images was as simple as digging through the Canva database of images and placing them within the template (as shown above). Finally, I added some fun text that created the opposite effect, using words like “foreign” and “wildlife” to sell the adventure aspect of it. Below is my finished product, and here is a real guide to getting the best out of a NYC staycation, if you are interested.
This was less difficult than I thought it would be. i really enjoyed working on the visual, but the most strenuous part was figuring out what I wanted viewers to take from it. I think more of these projects could make class fun and mix up the flow of creativity. These particular skills are important because there are a million ways to tell a story, and it only improves our personal toolbox of ideas. I would 10/10 do this again!
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