Before taking this class, I would have described myself as someone who is very observant and appreciative of everything around me. That includes my friends, family, strangers, nature, school, fun activities and more. I will be walking around campus and look at other strangers and wonder what thoughts are racing in their head and what struggles they are going through. When I’m with my friends, I truly care about their happiness and I hate to see any of them down from their own struggles. When I’m with my family, I think about what we have been through and somehow, my family remains happy and are appreciative people. When I’m outside on walks, I always think about how beautiful nature is and how lucky I am to live in a pretty place and breathtaking campus. But, I have never focused or thought about the damage we have caused when it comes to the environment. Many of my friends growing up were very passionate about sustainability and taking care of the environment, and I always supported them, but never even thought to ask them questions like what I could do to help. I am embarrassed to admit that I was never really passionate or cared deeply enough about keeping this world clean until very recently. I changed my major from Applied Exercise Science to Interior Design, so thinking about these things is very new to me. This class has opened my eyes and continues to do so every week. I am still learning, but I now know how important this class is for my major.
After the first class, I realized this class was going to push me out of my comfort zone. I am a super anxious person and I worry all the time. I worry of what others will think of me if I talk and it sounds stupid. So when I realized we would be randomly called on to answer questions, I knew I was always going to be nervous. Then we learned about mindfulness and meditation. The first time we meditated in class, I was thinking about everything I had to do and finish before the day was over, which caused me a little bit of stress. When I have meditated in the past, I never felt fulfilled or refreshed afterwards because I still had my thoughts rushing through my mind while trying to relax. Because of this, I never really enjoyed meditating and never understood how everyone loved it and why many people say it’s a great thing to do. But when we were taught about meditation in class, something changed for me. This statement stuck with me: “When you notice you’re thinking about something, tell yourself that you’re thinking.” It’s crazy to me that since I heard this in class, I’ve been able to not only meditate, but also fall asleep easier, get my work done quicker, have deeper conversations with others, and more without having to deal with my thoughts. Starting every class with meditation has helped me calm my anxiety. I don’t necessarily worry about what others are thinking of me and what they will think of me if I have to answer a question out loud in front of the class.
Meditation has honestly brought me back to someone I want to be. I have really been struggling with how I feel about myself and lost a lot of motivation after the pandemic, which led me to losing a lot of myself. I became someone I didn’t recognize and didn’t want to be. I lost my compassionate and empathetic nature. Before going through the pandemic, I was extremely empathetic and compassionate, and that is the way I have always wanted to live my life. So when I realized I was numb to any feelings, I knew I lost a big part of myself. So talking about being mindful has brought a lot of happiness to me. I have become more present in my everyday life. I have become more aware of my friends feelings and more present in the conversations I have with my friends. I’ve also learned that being mindful helps me in tough times too. When there is a disagreement or argument, I am able to put myself in their shoes and try to see how they’re feeling. I truly do believe that no matter what happens, people’s feelings are valid and they feel certain ways for a reason, so I want to try and be mindful and understand where they are coming from.
Everything that I have learned from this class will help tremendously in my career path. Hopefully one day I will be an interior designer, and if I am, I will work with all sorts of people and clients. I think it is important to really get to know the people you work with and the clients you get to work with so you can understand what they like and don’t like. I also want to be able to show my clients and coworkers that I really do care about them and they’re not just another person in my life. I do this anyways with everyone I meet anyways, but I want to continue being mindful because it really makes me feel happy knowing I am making others feel heard and understood. Something I’ve learned growing up is that life isn’t easy for anyone or anything. I’ve been through multiple things that I’d never want anyone else to experience. Many of my friends have been through things that I can’t imagine going through and will never understand. So life isn’t easy for others. Nobody is better than anyone, and we all go through things, so I will continue to remind myself that in my life, as well as my occupation.
There are many wicked problems in life, and in any job. Especially in interior design. When faced with a wicked problem, I will look at the problem in every single way. I will think about what is best for the client, environment, and everything else before coming to a conclusion.