Essay 1, Maddie Bigelow

The tweet, “Suspicious Pants” can be perceived in many ways. For me, it didn’t get me thinking. When I was told to delve deeper into what the image was showing us all I saw was a pair of pants draped over the side of a couch. But when we got into a group and others explained what they saw I realized that everybody has a different interpretation of things. So in the end it got me thinking about how people perceive things differently. Perspectives can make all their difference in the way you think, behave, and feel.

An example of how these pants got me thinking about how the pair of pants made me realize people need to look at things from a different point of view. Again with the pants I looked at the board and felt crazy having to examine a picture of a pair of pants. I couldn’t get my mind out of thinking it was just a pair of pants. For me to be able to delve deep into something I typically need to have some emotion behind it. Like when reading books like The Great Gatsby you could imagine yourself in the position of the characters. I was able to break away from my life and get into theirs. AT one point in that book everything falls apart, you could feel the devastation of Daisy not returning the love Gatsby gave her, Nick when Gatsby dies. But being asked to give something emotions that typically doesn’t is hard. Or when reading books about the Holocaust it is so easy to think bigger and break down meanings because it was such a tragedy, then there on the board was a pair of pants. I was then paired in a group with about six other people. They were able to think deeper about the pants. They put emotion behind them, they personified the pants. Some said the pants were acting suspicious based on the expression they observed and some thought the pants were suspicious of another person’s actions, and I was able to see where they were coming from. The pants were brought to life and I could see the face, I could see the look, and how a suspicious deed was assumed. I didn’t feel as ridiculous or nervous because I couldn’t see anything. Another example of this can be seen in “The Art of Scaring’, by Laura Skrzypczyk. She writes about the college experience and how maybe the college experience isn’t as fun and wild as it’s painted to be. In her article, she talks about how she had to think about things she didn’t want to. She used a different perspective to learn about what some have gone through in college and what some people will most likely go through. For example, Laura says, “In Dr. McCoy’s response to my post, she asked a very intriguing question: ‘how might colleges and universities communicate the risks and rewards without scaring folks or making them tune out (like folks often do when asked to read the fine print in contracts and the like)?’ I never stopped to wonder if I truly wanted to know the risks of the job market and the shortcomings of a college experience. However, after much consideration, I confirmed that I do want to know exactly what I’m getting into.” I chose this quote because it shows that at first knowing scary possibilities was something she didn’t want to know. But she allowed herself to get out of her comfort zone. She learned about the realities of college. In your first week of college, everyone is trying to tell you how great college is, it’s fun, welcoming, etc. But for a lot of people that isn’t true. College could even be a dangerous place. Laura got out of her perspective of the picture-perfect college experience and said the negation of that. She learned about the risk and the darker side of what college could be like. I think especially when it comes to college people need to get out of their naive mindset and learn from real firsthand experiences. 

Aside from the theory of changing perspective, I think that this can help me set goals for myself by using someone else’s perspective to grade myself, complete my assignments, etc. I only use my interpretation of “self”, I will never truly grow. I need to think like those who admire me, believe in me, and aspire to be me. An example of this can be seen if you call yourself the suspicious pants. If you were the pants and you say you were suspicious you would automatically assume everyone thinks you’ve done something bad. But in reality, they could be thinking something completely different. People never know what someone else is thinking or what they believe. So take a step back and look at yourself from an outside perspective. In addition, I think this could help me to set goals and understand that sometimes you don’t reach them and that is okay. There is no reason to beat yourself up over it or suddenly think you\’re a failure. All you have to do is adjust your goals so that they are a little more within your reach than your previous ones had been. This can also be seen in Laura’s writing, “The Art of Scaring”. For example, “Maybe we just need someone to say, “this is what we hope you’ll get out of this college experience, but these are some alternative possibilities that can happen. That’s the reality. And we’re here for you if it does!”. I chose the section of her test because we can all relate to it. This is an example of adjusting your college experience goal. Things didn’t work out quite the way they wanted to and needed to ask if held to maybe get back to what they wanted. This can help you understand college isn’t all poppy, have one class a day, and party at night. It is hard and for some people, it isn’t the right fit and that’s okay. 

In the end, a change in people’s mindset could be a lifesaver, I know that if I could change the way I think I would most likely be more confident and perform better in life and school. But it’s hard. People always feel they are being judged by the world, and the truth is you might be. But you can’t let that stop you. Most people are thinking more about if you are judging them than they are thinking about you. So transcend from your mind, adopt a new perspective, and change for the better. You could learn so many more things and see how people live that are the opposite of you. It could help you notice that the face of the pair of pants may be suspicious, and help you to make and reach new goals.