Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the weather. Last week, parts of New Hampshire acquired about two feet of snow. Temperatures hovered around eight degrees.
My mom was pulling out battery operated lamps and preparing food for a power outage. My dad was bundled in several layers of clothing with his “Nook of the North” hat nestled safely over his ears, pushing a 200-pound snow blower back and forth. While my parents desperately tried to alleviate Mother Nature’s damage, I was hiking across a soft bed of pine needles with my foster dog, Raina, panting at the end of her leash. Clad in only a tank top and shorts, I was enjoying the 78-degree day here in North Carolina. The contrast of distance and weather felt like a direct correlation to the contrast of time and opportunity. Although I joked with my parents about our vastly different agendas, it sparked a few realizations, some even deeper than the fluffy snowdrifts back home.
Last year, I was trudging through the inevitable end of my undergraduate career; I felt weighted by the pressure to succeed in the coming months. I was scared that I had not yet reached my full potential as a student; I was terrified of being buried in debt and being left too far under to ever accomplish my dreams.
Although the thought of stuffing all of my belongings into my 16-year-old minivan was intimidating, the challenge to finish my education was one I thought was worth it, and one I was willing to accept. Now, I recognize the stark difference that just a year can make. When I made the move from New Hampshire to North Carolina, I not only left behind the unfriendly weather, I left behind uncertainty. Now, my horizon is bright with more than just sun; it is bright with possibility.
Elon’s iMedia program has provided opportunities beyond belief. I have discovered that I am stronger than I ever knew; my breaking point is now nearly impossible to reach (with a coffee in hand, of course).
Through a few months of intense study of theory, user experience, content management, videography, web coding, graphic design, and photography, I have absorbed more knowledge than I did in four years. I developed a passion for photography, and I met many like-minded individuals, developing friendships that I will continue to cherish many years from now. I had the incredible opportunity to travel abroad to Reykjavík, Iceland, assisting Frumbjörg, a social innovation center, with the production of their first 24-Hour Innovation Day. Two weeks later, I was able to help present the final project at Elon.
This semester, I will finish my journey by learning more about digital branding, multimedia storytelling, and media economics. My capstone project provides me with the ability to unite my passion for canine rescue with the strengths I have developed in this program. When I walk up to receive my diploma in May, I will have completed an entirely self-driven project that reflects both my technical skill and my ethical concerns. I have grown beyond comparison, and I am still amazed that in just seven months, iMedia has provided me with such a powerful desire to immerse myself in this world. I’m not quite sure what the future holds for me, but I think that it’s safe to say it is sunny, with a chance of employment.