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What it feels like … (creativity edition)

[Editor’s note: “What it feels like” is a new Clarion series – inspired by Esquire magazine – written by reporters who want to share the stories of the Bethel students you pass by in the hall every day. – Maddie DeBilzan, editor.]

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Graphic design major Mary Hitt recognizes the frustrations of being stuck in a creative rut. | Photo by Kate Holstein.

What it feels like … to get stuck in a rut

Mary Hitt sat in a computer desk chair. She waited at an easel. She fiddled a 7B pencil in her hand as she longed for inspiration. She reminisced on days when ink flowed from her Micron pen and when her creative ideas had to be condensed instead of started.

what it feels like...Without inspiration Hitt had few artistic roads to explore. Being an aspiring graphic designer means hitting walls, getting stuck in ruts.  

“It feels like you have nowhere to go to try and solve a creative problem,” she said. “It can be defeating to be tracking along with a project or task, and then all of a sudden you run out of ideas.”

She recognizes that sometimes creative ruts only take a minute, an hour, an afternoon to escape, while others seem to entrap her for seasons.

“The frustrating thing about getting stuck in a rut as a student is that you may not have time to effectively get out of it,” she said.

–Kate Holstein, Clarion correspondent

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Freshman Grace Knudson balances homework and activities. | Photo by Chloe Peter.

What it feels like … to balance multiple activities

Grace Knudson, a linguistics major, walked back to Lissner Hall after her band performance at Bethel University. The performance had no major mess ups or problems throughout the night. Knudson’s friend, Shannell Pineta, had even come to watch. Pineta sat in the front row. Right in the center of the crowd. Although cold wind hit her face and rain drizzled down on her, Knudson did not rush back to her dorm. She carried her clarinet case with pride. Back in her dorm, she talked with Pineta about how well the concert went. Until she stopped and saw the laptop and notebook still laying out on her desk. The unfinished work all sitting right there.

Knudson still needed to do some humanities reading and had a paper due that she barely started working on beforehand. The entire time leading up to the concert, she had only thought about the things she needed to get done but hadn’t ended up actually doing any. The stress settled in, so did the disappointment in herself.

Knudson changed out of her black band clothing and put away her clarinet. Her anxiety heightened as she thought of how little time she had to get all of this work done. Knudson shuffled her papers. She couldn’t sit still in her desk chair. She needed to calm down, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to get anything done. Knudson took out a notebook and wrote a list of everything she needed to get done. She double-checked due dates. At least she had an outline now. She’s not one of those students who seeks help with time management.

“It’s the students that have to be the ones that say: ‘Oh shoot! I have this problem I need to talk with someone about,’ and use their agency to get help or to fix it,” Knudson said.

–Chloe Peter, Clarion correspondent

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Humanities reading can be daunting. | Photo by Emma Melling.

What it feels like…to finish every word of your humanities reading

It’s been 126 pages, and St. Augustine is still confessing the sins of his youth. Freshman Kennedy Anderson struggled to keep her heavy eyelids up as her eyes glazed over the last few lines of the chapter. The words on the page blended together as she tried to absorb the content on the page. Her shoulders hunched as she leaned over the book. A wave of fatigue ran through her body as she struggled to stay upright and awake. She wondered if it was even worth it to finish, but she was close to the end. Anderson was determined to finish her humanities reading. With a sigh of relief, she read the last line on the page. She could finally go to bed.

That was what it felt like to finish all of the assigned reading for GES 145 Humanities 1.

“When I read at least two pages, I’m like, ‘look at me go,’ ” Anderson said. “I feel really good and productive and proud of myself.”

–Emma Melling, Clarion correspondent

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