Surround yourself with people who inspire you

Caitlin Cryan

I used to be so much more creative than I am now. I would like to say that it’s because I just got busy, which is partly true. Between balancing an internship, a full course load and extracurricular activities, I don’t have a lot of time to express myself creatively. In college, it became hard to keep my creativity levels up. I’m tired from my hectic schedule and just crawl into bed on those rare occasions when I get a chance to rest, instead of using that time to create.

Recently, I went to an open mic night on campus hosted by Montage. A photograph of mine was on display. The Montage members were able to transform this normal meeting room in the student center into an open-minded, artsy coffee shop. Everyone there was so welcoming, so calm and seemed to be glowing with inspiration.

Some of their inspiration must have rubbed off on me, because I left feeling empowered in my creativity. It elevated my spirits, leaving me with that unexplainable warm fuzzy feeling. I remembered when I used to take photos for fun of anything I wanted. I love taking vibrant colorful pictures of nature or smiling faces. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I used to write for fun all the time. My imagination would run wild, and I would write stories in my head that would flow out of me as soon as the pen hit the paper. It has been years since I wrote anything just because I wanted to.

That night after the open mic, inspired by all the amazing artists and poets that confidently shared their work just because they love it, I went home and I wrote. I wrote poems for the first time in what seemed like forever, and they flowed out of me just like how I remembered. I let myself type and did not allow myself to stop until I had completely run out of words.

College is a time that we are supposed to “find ourselves,” but I think that it is less about finding ourselves and more about finding the right people who will help us to be the best selves we can be. That means putting yourself out there, possibly out of your comfort zone. Join a club centered around something you are passionate about, meet people who share that passion. For me, it was going to an on-campus event that inspired me to put myself out there more. So many clubs and organizations put on events that go ignored and unattended by so many students, but it would be so beneficial to people if they took the chance and went. It was the bravery, honesty, and pure creativity of the total strangers laying themselves out in front of a room full of people, that lit my creative torch that had been burnt out for so long.

So, I encourage you, take the time to follow your passion, do what you love and surround yourself with people who inspire you to do that.