The Beginning of the End: IS6621

I have to say as a second-semester senior, writing a final reflection on a course feels a bit more emotional than expected. giphy (6)As I reflect on my last semester in this class and put it into words, it feels like the first of many ‘goodbyes,’ so to speak, that I’ll come across in the next few weeks. However, if this blog must be “the beginning of the end” for me, something about it does feel right.

This course has left a lasting impact on me throughout the semester. The first day of class I was overwhelmed by all of the deliverables that Prof. Kane assigned, and rightfully questioned my decision to take this course. However, I felt a sense of excitement when he explained our bi-weekly blog posts. Like I mentioned in my very first blog, I’ve always had an interest in blogging, but never had to motivation to start. This class was the push I needed, and already provided a platform for blogging. In my first blog I outlined that I had a goal of blending my existing knowledge on the fashion industry with the new knowledge I would gain from this course on social media and digital business. Four months later, I can say I’ve successfully accomplished my goal.

One of my biggest apprehensions when establishing a theme for my blogs was that I would run out of material or be grasping at straws to come up with a new post. While most weeks I was able to plan my topics in advance, other times I did only come up with a topic last minute. By the end of the semester I had learned the importance in planning blog posts in advance and mapping them out to make sure they don’t overlap in coverage. Sometimes I felt like I came up with a bunch of different topics, only to realize that I was covering the same topic twice and just rephrasing it in a different way. Eventually, I felt like I came up with a solid method for outlining my future posts, and I believe this is a skill that I’ll be able to carry with me in the future if I ever start my own blog. giphyAdditionally, I felt like I proved to myself that I did have enough tangible knowledge on the fashion industry to sustain my own blog. Challenging myself with a topic I initially felt less-than-confident about actually gave me a strong sense of accomplishment at the end. As much as I wanted to prove myself to the class, I wanted to prove myself to myself even more.

Aside from writing my own blogs, the part of the course I enjoyed the most was the mandatory comments on my classmates’ posts. As I look back through my own comments this semester, I can see how they have evolved. At first, I would just comment two or three sentences to fill the requirement. By the end, I had gotten to know each of my classmate’s styles so well that I was excited for their bi-weekly posts and became very engaged in the comment section. On the flip side, I had grown to look forward to the comments I would receive on each post. Watching my classmates engage with my ideas and topics was one of the best feelings in the world. Especially because I chose to cover an industry that not everyone was interested in, I really looked forward to seeing some fresh perspectives on what I had said.

Overall, the blog assignments in this class have really given me something to be proud of. At first, I thought I would just treat them like any other class assignment and not think twice about them. I came to realize that I put so much effort into each blog and worked so hard to develop my voice, that I was excited to share the posts with my friends and family. Each week I had someone text me, “Wow! I’m learning so much about the fashion industry,” or something along those lines. Seeing those texts gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment — knowing I had something to say and people were willing to listen. While I am relieved to have the weight of a bi-weekly blog post lifted off my shoulders, a part of me is sad there won’t be a new one to outline next week.

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What I enjoyed most about this class is that not only did it teach me about social media, but it also gave me the chance to get hands-on with it. This kind of interactive learning has given me a taste of the digital world, and I can’t wait to get more.

7 comments

  1. kylepdonley · ·

    I will miss hearing your perspectives on things, Addison! You were a much-needed cynicism-check for me at times. I totally understand the feeling of grasping to come up with topics as I always found that to be the most challenging part. My first blog post was about the fear of the giant, blank, white page and unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten any easier. Even if you come back to blogging someday, you’ve earned a lengthy break from it for now!

    1. Addison LeBeau · ·

      Haha – I’ll miss our small group sessions too! Similarly to what you mentioned, I think your cynicism was a good reality check for our classmates as well, and led to a lot of fresh perspectives on the topics!

  2. katietisinger · ·

    Addison, I looked forward to your blogs so much! I was impressed with your ability to connect them all to fashion, and the time and effort you put into each of them was evident. I also really valued your insights in class and particularly in our small group. You brought important questions to the table and really new how to cultivate dynamic conversations. Thank you for your energy and questions you brought to this class!

  3. Jobabes121 · ·

    Addison, I really admire the fact that you had a clear goal of taking the course and developing your knowledge in fashion through the learning experience. I also support your passion to continue blogging, as I remember your posts have been not only enjoyable but also informative about the fashion industry. And I wholeheartedly agree with your take on commenting. I initially took it as mandatory as well, but it has become my favorite part of the course as I learned the most from reading others’ blog posts. Since many people spend significant amount of time on blogging, the content was great and provided great overview of a topic that I had no idea about; I could learn a new thing in fewer than 10-15 minutes with an enjoyable blog. It was a pleasure to be in the same class with you, and cheers to graduation in… fewer than 3 weeks! :(

  4. nescrivag · ·

    I really enjoyed reading your blog posts about the fashion industry since it is a topic that I am note very familiar with. I also struggled to find topics sometimes and learned how to plan and map out blog posts because although it seems easy in our heads, structuring the blog post for an audience is quite challenging. I also found that reading other blog posts and commenting on them made me engage more with the material our classmates were providing us with because it made me reflect on their topic and agree/disagree with them.
    Thank you for contributing so much in class discussions (both online and offline)! :)

  5. oliverhowe14 · ·

    It was really cool to see that you had a consistent theme to your blogs over the semester, especially because it was something that you were really passionate about and fortunately had some sort of background knowledge to make the writing come easier. I had originally tried to do that, but it felt like I was grasping at straws. So maybe you just have a natural blogging talent that I desperately lack.

  6. tuckercharette · ·

    Addison! I think you expressed some of the same thoughts that I’ve had about this class. I really think that learning that our voices are able to come through our blog posts and comments is something that I learned throughout our class. The requirements became avenues for us to share our voices and thoughts. I found that my blogposts allowed me to really share what I wanted to speak about while commenting and tweeting (as you mentioned commenting was one of your favorite parts) could be a time to listen and respond. Knowledge flew through the twitter feed and the Blog. Such vastly different topics were posted and that’s what was so cool. I think that the class was well structured and taught us that we had an ecosystem that we had to fill.

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