This week in Art 110, we were told to create an alternate identity and live in it throughout the day. I was not excited about this project to begin with because I looked at the prospect of dressing up to be a hassle. However as the date drew closer, I realized I didn’t need to change all that much of my appearance to do the project. I simply had to behave as a different person. This is when I came up with the idea for Jason.
For my alternate identity I decided I would try to break out of the secluded shell I live in at school. On a typical day, from the moment I leave my car to the moment I come back, I really leave no opportunities for anyone on campus to meet me. Yes, anyone could have walked up to me and talked to me, but I would find myself actually going out of my way to avoid direct communication. As soon as I left my car…headphones in, volume up, good luck trying to get a hello or smile out of me while I was in my musical head-space.
So for my project I wanted to challenge myself to do something that I always had blamed other people for not doing. I would talk to as many people as I could in the day. So from the moment I left my car, I began. I found success right away in the line for the general parking passes in the parking structure. I found out that when I just went into the day with the mind-set of being social and approachable, it just happened. I thought I would be awkward and forced in my conversations but I soon found that I enjoyed sharing myself and partaking in other people’s days. I felt connected with these people because we were all on common ground. It seemed like everyone was waiting in the similar mindset as I was of “If only someone would come up and talk to me.”
People seemed psyched about what I was doing and at some point during the day, I (without noticing) ditched the fake name and simply became Andy again. This was perhaps the most enjoyable part of the project. I realized that in trying to be something different from who I thought I was, I just found a part of me that was dying to get out. This experience has made my outlook on the campus much brighter. I can look at each person I meet as a chance for a new friend and the feeling is liberating.