Transistions and Change

The transition from high school to college is complex enough and recently I’ve been wondering if technology has made it easier or harder. I don’t have much analysis on the matter because it is more a problem I have been dealing with and have felt more acutely since being home. College has long been regarded as a time where you can start over and find out who you are but, how easy is it in this very connected world? In this transitional time where society is becoming more and more dependent on the technologies that make us connected is my generations college experience (or our lives for that matter) setting a new precedent?

For instance, cellphones keep you connected at all times and even screening calls is a little more difficult because people know you can see their missed calls. People even get upset if you are the type of person that keeps your cellphone off regularly (I used to be this type of person) because not being able to contact someone at every moment is just horrible, right? I’m not trying to put down connectivity because I have been enjoying the benefits of applications like Twitter ever since the Faculty Academy but, I’m wondering how do we go about disconnecting from certain things? Isn’t there a time when we need to move on or readjust our connections?

Perhaps I feel my worlds (yes worlds) are colliding (or will soon be) and I don’t know if I should put up boundaries or just let it be. Most of my family knows I blog but, I am still reluctant to give those who ask the URL. I can think of some family members I wouldn’t mind sharing it with but, others I rather not see it. The same thing goes for friends from high school and friends from college. My blog is out there though, isn’t it? I don’t make posts private and I really don’t talk about embarrassing personal stories that I wouldn’t want my mom to know but, I can’t help feel that there needs to be a separation. In an attempt to try to sort out who I am my thoughts often end up being showcased on my blog. A simple solution would be not to blog about it or limit it but, I don’t think I could really consider that option. Maybe I feel like I am under a microscope of sorts and because my generation spends countless hours on Facebook following people I fear if I shared my blog with peers I would be subject to that same watchful eye, especially since there aren’t many student bloggers. Maybe it is my fear of being known or maybe I just care too much about what others might think?

Today I googled my name and on the first page there was multiple links connecting people to me. It is becoming easier to find me and things I have said.

googlesearchmyname.png

One of my friends recently left a post on my wall on Facebook and told me while doing a google search she found my blog.

Am I really afraid to fail and “fail gloriously”? Yes. Years of being subtly told failure is to be avoided and making a mistake is a sign of sloppiness, stupidity, or apathy. I’m struggling because I’m not sure I am really ok with making a mistake. When people are more likely to ask me what my GPA is than what I learned I cannot help but feeling failure needs to be avoided. People will try to put learning from mistakes in a shiny light but, more often it feels like it would have been better to have avoided making the mistake in the first place.

Here I am though, sharing this with the whole world. Although while I am writing this I am thinking about the people who read my blog and comment, more than I am imagining everyone on the web. A wise friend recently said to me it is “…interesting how the audience can call something out of us. We know that at least a few trusted readers will read it. Later we learn that many other folks will also love it–but it’s the trusted circle that calls it forth”. I think that is one of the reasons I continue to share and put this out there, it is these people who I can trust to respond with something meaningful to say. If I fail in front of these people I need not fear being ridiculed, these people embrace “making a mess”.

My life is the editing stages, preparing for a major mashup of my past and present lives. As my online life becomes more transparent and as I plan to purposely do this starting this fall (atleast that is what I am telling myself) I have come back to idea of connections. It is clear that not all connections are equal, some are more valued than others. So as I deal with feelings of anxiety and worry about how well things will come together I have to remember to take a deep breath. I am starting to realize I am not enslaved by these connections, in fact I may very well be in charge of these connections. This may just be a matter of asserting myself and taking risks but, that is an issue for another blog post.

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3 Responses to “Transistions and Change”


  1. 1 Jeff July 4, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Once again you’ve managed to capture so much in one post. I’d say that many of these concerns that you’ve expressed here (especially about a fear of failing, and of doing so publicly; of the disconnect between the traditional measures of our progress/learning and our actual progress/learning; of the public engagement with ideas that are not always as polished or fully thought out as one would like; of a public persona that represents part of who we are, but not a part that we want _everyone_ to see) are things that I’ve struggled with as well. As we develop new ways to write, collaborate, and engage in our own journeys as well as those of others, we’re all trying to figure out the path(s) that makes the most sense, balancing putting our ideas out there, while retaining some feeling of control over that public part of ourselves.

    Given my own struggles with these issues, I can see how grappling with them in the midst of a shift from HS to college would make the situation even more complicated.

    You’re right to see one way through this dilemma as being mindful of the support of your core audience. In an idealized form of traditional education, a great teacher inspires students to reach beyond themselves. But you’re beginning to find that in Real School, you can find those inspirations to reach further in many locations and in many people.

    All I can say is, keep it up….

  2. 2 Joe July 6, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    This is why I am glad “Joe McMahon” is a common name. >.>

  3. 3 college July 14, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    It is hard at first going from high school to college.


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