February 7, 2013
I went into the experience of the IExamen with an open mind and limited expectations. I believed that I would get something out of the experience when the idea was presented to us but did not know at the time what type of experience I would have. I expected to have various types of interactions throughout the day and to both be surrounded by technology and also to avoid its temptations. I began my day waking up about two hours before my first class at eleven am. My roommate had already left and I quietly ate breakfast and did some catching up on work. I greeted my suitemate Nicole who was brushing her teeth with a tired, “good morning” and then decided to take a shower. Especially early in the morning I do not find myself saying much to the people around me. I find that I am still waking myself up. I walked across campus to class seeing familiar faces of friends and fellow students, who I said hi to as I passed going to class. I talked with one of my friend’s Vanessa for a little longer who I found studying for an exam. I greeted her asked her first what she was doing and continued the conversation by laughter and talking about work, something to bond over. I walked the rest of the way to Philosophy class. Philosophy class consists mainly of lecture but it was extremely interesting to passively interact in the class by listening to the teacher and to other students’ remarks. I usually am more of an introverted person in this class, which is a little frustrating for me because I had the same professor last semester and I feel that I am intimidated by the larger class size. I realized after this class that in future classes I hope to be more engaged and question rather than just take in the new information.
The hour of the day I chose to avoid technology was during lunch with one of my close friends Jill. We went to the refectory in the humanities building. We sat at a table directly outside the refectory because it was too crowded inside. We spent the entire lunch laughing and interacting in a positive and refreshing way. We talked about both of our problems we had been having this week and were able to bring humor to the stress we were both feeling from the week. We bonded over stress, friendships and the process of roommate selection for next year. During our conversation my mind did not stray to technology. I was only focused on listening to what she was saying and giving my attention to her. I think having face-to-face interactions is one of the most important aspects of a friendship, especially in our generation defined by technology and constant stimulation. I felt at peace and refreshed after not being on my phone or thinking about the next thing I had to do.
I felt that after the lunch, I quickly gravitated back to using technology almost by instinct. I feel like I use technology in some positive ways, such as talking with close friends, taking pictures and email but I also see technology as a true downfall to some of my interactions with others and sometimes even a false representation of who I am and how others illustrate themselves to me. I went to Spanish class at two and then made my way to voice lessons and the health center because of a cold I have had over the past few days.
I spent my dinner over a fun but stressful meeting about a new and upcoming a cappella group my friend as well as some other students are forming on campus. The conversation consisted of logistics and using our laptops as aids.
One of the most challenging parts of my day was discussing rooming for next year with the group of eight girls that I have been close with since the first day at Loyola. Everyone knew going into the situation that it was going to be awkward and uncomfortable, however we did not know the level of anger and sadness that would be experienced. Although we will not all be living together next year, I do not think that where you live has to truly define your college experience. Housing should not put a burden on friendship if the friendship is really genuine. Although I will be still living with my direct roommate next year, I hope to maintain really good relationships with the girls that I will not be living with.
Although my day was quite busy I chose this day to examine because of how busy it was. I truly valued the moments of my day that I could sit down and separate myself from technology. I valued the conversations I had with my friend at lunch, the friends I saw passing from class to class, the time I spent singing and conversations with other close friends. What I truly take out of this experience is that technology can be a part of my life but there needs to be a healthy balance in order to see the genuine beauty of things just the way they are.