Seeing as it’s the beginning of a new school year there are hundreds of teachers around the world working to learn the names and personalities of their students. Some teachers choose just to learn them on the go without any extra help from a project or anything but some teachers will have projects that require the student to introduce themselves to the class in some way.
For most of my classes this semester it wasn’t so much a project as the professor had all of us students introduce ourselves to the class. This would include our name, major, classification, and maybe a fun fact at most. But I have once class in which the professor assigned a project that was designed to serve this purpose.
So the project was called a “ME” bag. The assignment was to place 5 items in a bag that could be used to represent you as a person. You would think that’s super simple right? I mean you only have to find 5 items that describe as much of you as a person as possible. Yea, it was surprisingly hard to do.
I thought this would be a simple enough assignment that would take maybe five minutes to think through and gather the items. Boy, was I wrong. I spent a good hour or so thinking about what I should put into the bag. I wanted it to be as accurate of a representation as possible but I also didn’t want to get too personal because that’s just who I am. I keep most people at arms length so I didn’t want to over share with this project.
Projects like these are sometimes awful because they require so much thinking. First you have to decide who you are as a person and which parts of you that you feel are most important to share. It is after this that you must then put those pieces into items or a few sentences. I always feel like there’s so much more that I can tell about myself than just a few items could possibly ever tell. I also worry that my representation of myself isn’t accurate and that I’ve actually created some sort of false identity for this class because I just don’t know what I should share and what is superfluous.
In order to kind of combat this anxiety I looked to my boyfriend for some reassurance. Without telling him what I had chosen to put in the bag, I asked what he would put into a bag to represent me. Thankfully he would have put 3 of the 5 items I had chosen. And the two that he had different were also really good ideas. I ended up exchanging one of my items for one of his because it gave a much better representation of who I am. After all this work I had compiled a bag that contained a book (Game of Thrones), a pair of ear buds, my planner, an Xbox controller, and a Minecraft hoodie. It may not seem like much but these items really do come together to give a fairly comprehensive representation of who I am.
Though these projects maybe a bit hard and sometimes considered awful or terrible because they have a presentation component they also serve to make a person look at themselves. And I mean really look at who they are at the core. As a quote attributed to Aristotle states “knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” and these projects can help you to truly know yourself.