Wednesday, June 12, 2013

AT&T Scholarship Essay- Internet TV

 Has the On Demand revolution and shift to consuming media online affected you positively or negatively as a student? How?        

   For me, growing up during the late 1990s and early 2000s, watching TV was a pastime done in the living room with my family. If I wasn’t watching TV on our living room set, I was watching some funny clips and music videos on YouTube.
Now I’m finding that with the shift to Internet viewing of TV shows and movies, I am spending less time in my family room and more time in my bedroom to watch any and all of my TV shows. Since TV shows are so easily available to me, I often played an episode of The Twilight Zone, Modern Family, or Once Upon a Time while I did my homework. Or at least, I used to. There are several reasons why I have stopped playing movies and television shows in the background while I work on my school subjects. Three of the most important ones are that I have better focus without the distraction of TV, my grades improve, and when I do choose to watch a TV show I enjoy it more because I’m able to focus only on the show itself.
            I used to play music and listen to TV shows in the background as I worked on homework. What I discovered within these recent months is that I had a hard time focusing on my assignments because I had so much noise going on around me. If I was listening to a TV show then I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was writing for class, but when I was writing I hardly heard what was going on in the TV show. Sometimes the silence is too much for me, and I play instrumental and classical music, but without the TV noise in the background I'm able to focus on my schoolwork and get it done more quickly.
            I also observed a distinct rise in my grades once I cut out the background noise of TV. While I was a B student on average for my homework, it frustrated me because I knew that I could be getting As in my classes. I understood the material and thought that I had completed my assignments well. While it didn’t occur to me outright that I should cut out TV while doing homework, I found that it was an added bonus to my improved focus and memory retention of my classes’ material.
            Now when I want to focus on watching a TV show, I’m able to enjoy the entertainment and give more of my attention to watching the shows I like. I’ve never been a TV addict, and I often miss a few weeks of my favorite TV shows and have to catch up. However, now that I have the time to catch up because I’m not doing double duty with my homework, I don’t feel guilty about spending time watching TV!

It's not where I am, it's where I'm going.

To be honest, I'm frustrated with myself. I'm frustrated with my circumstances. I'm frustrated by people who normally don't tick me off.

I am listless, lazy, unproductive, impulsive, and probably a few other choice words that aren't usually in my arsenal of "describe yourself" answers.

Usually I answer those words, "describe yourself," with words like the following: Productive. Responsible. Fairly Organized. Motivated. Healthy. Inquisitive.

Those words up there ^......not me right now.

I've been getting several wake up calls to this, and I've actually seen this process happening over a long period of time. It started a little while back in the most recent school semester. I would have trouble working on assignments until it was two days before they were due. Or the night before. More often than not I forgot to write a journal entry for a class.
I mean, I still pulled As in all my classes, but that didn't really feel good. I felt like I had coasted through the semester.

The same with dance classes. I had to miss a LOT of classes due to school (when I was being responsible about my assignments). Then there have been some weird schedules at work, so dance took a back seat because I need to earn cash. Ergo, I'm out of shape and not happy about it. However, I'm having trouble finding motivation to work out at home.

At work, for the most part, I'm okay. I'm a little weary but I'm okay, I guess. I've made my peace with staying at my job through the summer instead of trying to find something different that will work with my family's vacation and Ren Faire. It's paying off and I'm getting good hours. So long as I keep putting my paychecks in the bank I should see some profit and a money cushion for the fall and college. I'll need to work out a plan for how to (not) spend my money, but that will be a budgeting lesson that I need to learn anyway. Still there are many days were I resign myself to getting into the car and driving to work.

Most of this stems from the fact that I'm stressed. Or at least, I'm going to say that it is. I'm worried. I'm worried about how I'm going to pay for college. I'm worried about a few of my friends. I'm worried about the stupid tick bite that I got up at Faire this past weekend. I'm worried about how I'm not getting any scholarships. I'm worried about how I'm not motivated to do anything. I'm worried about how I'm always craving really really sugary salty bad for you foods.

And this stress is really affecting me. I can't think straight without starting to get on myself about how I have 10 billion things to get done. Instead of doing things, because I'm tired, I take naps and watch Hulu. Not anymore. I'm starting to change things.

Daily Bible Study (which, ironically, seems to be the only thing I manage to be halfway consistent on even in my non motivated state). No more junky food. I've got to exercise once every day at the least. I have to spend an hour on scholarships every day. I want to read/write everyday, even if it's the newspaper I'm reading or only one sentence that I'm writing. I will continue to focus on kindness at work. I will get everything in order so help me or else I'm going to turn into someone that I don't like. I'm trying really hard to be someone that I do like. Liking yourself is sort of important, or it should be.

So what have I found since I've been trying to turn myself around? Well, I've been swimming. That's helped. In the few days that I've cut out fried crap I have felt (and looked) much better. I will continue to be a klutz and injure myself constantly, but the bruises fade. I will grumble about scholarships but get them done.

I've learned that I have to be an optimist or else things get ugly. I don't like asking why things are the way they are, or looking back and seeing what I could have done differently. It gets annoying. Most of the time I try to muddle through as best I can.

One really positive thing is that I am back at Faire. I've been hanging out with people I love and admire and have been getting to know a lot more people this year. I like getting to know different people in the different casts. I like getting to know the newbies. I like being able to help get the site ready for when the gates open. I like being outside for 48 hours straight. Even though it's pretty taxing physically and I come home exhausted, it's restful for me. It feels like home to me.

What I've enjoyed the most is getting to know people. That's really what's been the best part of this summer so far is just being in touch with people and talking to people face to face. I've already had some fun with people who I didn't really know before. I'm hoping that it will continue. If my experiences at Faire so far are an indication of how the rest of my summer will be in general, then things are going to be okay.

Plus, right now, it's not really about where I am. It's about where I am going.