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It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are.

Juniata’s motto, “Think about who you are”, has caused me to have at least three existential crises in the last few months. I don’t know who I am yet. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

For a long time, I pictured myself working at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in their Education department. I’ve been thinking about working in Vessel Operations at a cruise company. Then I got to school and thought I could see myself being a fluff journalist writing articles about big cows and quizzes to find out what Disney Princess you are based off of the food you get at Sheetz.

I was determined to be a writer on SNL, then a playwright. I was thinking about going into marketing for a while, then becoming an entrepreneur. Now I’m thinking about joining the Peace Corps after I graduate. After a year in the Peace Corps, I want to become a Creative Consultant.

Dr. Grace Fala of the Communications department introduced me to the concept of a creative consultant. Someone who gets hired by businesses to come in and inspire creativity in the workplace. They go on company retreats or do big office projects to get the employees to think outside the box. Dr. Fala’s friend Mike recently came in to speak to our class about creativity and how to capture it, how to inspire it, how to bait a trap for it.

Mike said that creativity is a constant thing. It’s always there, sometimes we just can’t reach it. The more we use it the easier it will be to access when we need it the most. He said creativity is in everything. He performed several original songs for our class as well. They were so soulful and calming and grounding. His songs were about everything. Everyday objects, to common feelings, to funny stories to unique experiences. He was able to find inspiration in everything and use his creativity to turn it into something incredible.

Mike’s creativity has inspired me to reach a little bit outside the box. I might not become a creativity consultant in my future, but the skills I learn right now with that as my goal will most likely be invaluable in whatever field I end up in.

I want to improve my improv skills and start my stand-up comedy routine for which I have already had mini tomatoes thrown at me. I need to work on my public speaking skills. Building on these experiences will make me a better boss and a better employee. I’ll be able to do my work to the best of my ability and my creativity wheel will be greased enough that I can have easy access to out-of-the-box thinking.

I might end up in the Peace Core for a few years, maybe I’ll write fluff news for Buzzfeed, or maybe I’ll become a comedy writer on SNL. Maybe I’ll be that creativity consultant, going around inspiring creativity in random strangers. No matter what, the skills I learn and the people I meet on my journey there, will be invaluable.

I have no idea who I am yet or what I want to do when I grow up, but I don’t have to. That’s what college is all about – finding out who you are.

Julia Newman ’21, Professional Writing POE, Co-Founder of the Gambian Art Coalition