Creativity builds balance

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Amanda Cefaratti

For the past three and a half years, I have identified myself as “Amanda Cefaratti from Newington, Connecticut, senior global studies and history major at Assumption College.”

I didn’t see a problem with this statement until recently, when I was writing one of the dozens of personal statements for various graduate schools I was applying to. Recently, one of the schools asked a question I have never considered outside of the regular constraints before. In short, it asked, “Who are you, what have you done, and why do we care?”

As I wrote, I introduced myself the same way I always did, as “a senior global studies….” until I realized that in three months, after I walk across the DCU Center’s stage and throw my cap into the air, I will no longer be that person. Maybe it’s not who I was in the first place. I am not just a major and a school name or GPA and a list of activities. I am not just “PSW RA on duty,” “Senator, Class of 2016,” “SOPHIA Alumni” or any of the other things my résumé lists. But then, who am I? At that moment, I had no idea.

I laid on my futon and thought. I walked through the Artic tundra that we call a campus and thought. I mindlessly scrolled through Pinterest, and Facebook, binge watched Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and kept thinking. With the deadline to my personal statement and graduate school application looming, I still had a whole lot of nothing, until I sat down to the second day of my first ever college drawing class.

For the past few semesters, except for one saving grace of a graphic design class, I have not taken a creative class, and it has physically drained me. I often feel strung out, left my feelings bottled up and have had to find other outlets like journaling or working out in order to feel any sort of semblance of balance. Without taking a class that allowed for freedom of expression, I hadn’t been able to make my mind work in different ways, relax or challenge myself, and it has put me into a rut and forced me into a single-minded way of living. When I was asked to write this column, I had no idea what to say, how to make my voice heard and how to impact future Hounds with a two-page Microsoft Word document.

In the end, this is what I have decided: my advice to all underclassmen is to try to take a creative class every semester, or engage in something creative at least once per week. It does not have to be a big thing. If you are in a club, make the big hanging poster for your event’s advertisement. Take drawing, music, photography, creative writing or just anything that stretches your brain from the typical take-notes-and-spit-out-exams style of learning. Create, learn, destroy and then create again. Tear down walls to only build up new ones. Flex muscles you did not even know that you had. You may not have all the answers, but you’ll have some.

Poetry, music, art and many other creative outlets let me answer the question, “Who are you?” They showed me that I don’t love the beach like I always thought; I just love the ocean, and the freedom but scary consequences and mystery it offers. I love to write, and it is my wish for everyone to try to become a writer at least once in their life, to know what it’s like to move somebody with something as simple as an arrangement of words. I am passionate about many things, and those thing: the ocean, my dog, writing, student affairs, crocheting scarves and sending care packages to soldiers, those are what make me Amanda Cefaratti. Those things gave me the urge to create. So use this free time wisely; flex your brain; try to create. Create about what you care about. Care about something.

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