Me, Myselves, and I

Part of the first semester experience involves self-representation and identity. If you want students to think about their identity formation and the kinds of code-switching we all do, moving from one situation to another, ask students to create a photo diary of a day in their life as a student. Prompts might direct students to address particular questions about classes and down time and what their residential space is like. These can be the basis of a conversation about how they are managing their lives in a new place.

Then have them reflect on how what they share with the class about their college student identity might differ from what they post to social media and how their identities are crafted for different audiences – their high school friends, their parents, particular interest groups online. This could then lead to a discussion of rhetorical principles – how do you craft your self-presentation for a particular purpose and audience – or could be the basis of a discussion about how social media platforms are influencing our lives and society at large.