How To Be Creative

Just Jump: Take A Chance And Embrace Vulnerability

In order to create something you have to be willing to go someplace you've never been before

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This quarter at UCLA I took a class known as Arts Encounters: Exploring Arts Literacy in the 21st Century. I'll admit, I took this class merely to fulfill a GE requirement and, generally, GE classes aren't the most intriguing. Not to mention all I had heard regarding this particular course were tales of caution: "It gets real weird, be sure to have a friend with you."

So, I went in with a less than open mind, only to leave with a more inventive mindset and greater desire to create than I did before.

Seeing art, doing art and analyzing art: this is what the class entails and for many, albeit for most, this presents a huge challenge. Copious amounts of hours over the past ten weeks have been dedicated to exercises that, in an academic centered community, seem somewhat frivolous.

Yet, I couldn't be happier.

This class pushed me out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I not only became comfortable with thinking outside the box and expressing my creativity, but also gained some shreds of invaluable wisdom.

During one of the last lectures, the professor stood atop her desk in front of nearly 300 students, howled, and proclaimed a brief proverb of profound advice:

"In order to create something you have to be willing to go someplace you've never been before. And in this place is fear and discomfort. You need to fucking jump."

And she jumped (Granted it was from a two and half foot tall table, but the point still stands).

I got a really unjustified case of the chills, only to realize it was due to my unrecognized want to hear something short-sweet-and-to-the-point telling me to just fucking go for it.

I've written a good many articles about keeping your head up, lifting yourself up, and throwing caution to the wind, but this time I just want to urge everyone to just fucking jump.

By this I mean: don't fear the unknown, embrace what's holding you back and go for it.

So often we are plagued by the angst of going against the grain, the unease of the uncharted, the terror of ridicule and the dread of being different.

It is these fears that shroud the creativity of many and cut short the words of most. To be fearful is to limit yourself, and to limit yourself is a disservice to both yourself and the rest of the world.

Vulnerability is terrifying at times—trust me, I put my words out there once a week for anyone and everyone to ridicule, scorn, or both—yet, it's the fact it's so frightening that makes all creation so absolutely enticing. We as human beings are allured by that which scares us, and to see another put themselves out there is not only encaptivating, but also inspiring.

By taking a chance and embracing vulnerability you'll inspire yourself and others.

Find your calling and just fucking jump.

Cover Image Credit:

Isabelle Roshko

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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