College, Self, and Community

I am doing an auto-ethnographic project about student life at the University of Minnesota because I think that this is a good way to share experiences from students all over campus with different backgrounds for spreading awareness about similar situations and possibly connect students together who share similar situations. I personally like to hear other students share their experiences because it can be helpful and relieving to hear that you’re not alone. Everyone else on campus is on the same boat. It’s the uniqueness of each student here at the U that I really hope people will recognize and appreciate.

I think a good place to start asking questions is with my MCAE group, which stands for Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, because they’re the most diverse group I know and am glad to have experienced Kick-off with. Even though we only spent two days together, I truly felt like I connected with each and everyone in my group, including our amazing MCAE leaders, Eloho Urhieyovwe and Sanjana Jonnalagadda. Another way to get different perspectives is by asking students during student group events and when many of the student groups have booths outside of Coffman Memorial Union. Asking students who are finding a group they want to participate in and asking students who are already in a group can show similarities or differences in their experiences. I also want to make sure that I cover students of different years because their answers will vary based on how much experience they have or how completely new they are. I can also compare and/or ask International students, Minnesotan students, and out of state students about how their experiences are influenced by culture whether it being completely different than the one they grew up in or it being all too familiar.

I think it would be cool if in the video I introduce each person I interviewed by having them draw things that describe them and in the background have inspirational music playing or have them talk about themselves before showing the clip of them answering the question. Then, have them all showcase a unique talent or skill that they have at the end of the video to show how they’re different, yet are all here to share the experience of college.

A question that I could possibly use for this project would be asking about students’ purposes for coming to college. A specific question could be asking commuters if living off campus limits them from doing certain activities or how it makes them feel and how those challenges are affecting them in comparison to students living on campus. I’m considering these questions as possible questions to ask because these relate to me. I am a commuter and I also am questioning my purpose for attending college. Through this project, I feel like I could possibly find my purpose for attending college and connect with other students who share similar experiences with me.