About The Study
FYS Instructor Miranda Zent
Alex’s poetry reflects a sense of frustration familiar to many students in their first year of college. During this time of intense change it’s not surprising if students experience an almost total reordering of their sense of self—a strong shift in values and beliefs, the assumption of new responsibilities, a different sense of home and adulthood. The big question that confronts many of us during this crucial time asks what facets of our previous identity will remain after these monumental changes have done their work? How can we know those essential, defining features of our identity, and how much control do we have over whether we shed them or not?
As she says in her rationale, Alex’s first year was full of changes that profoundly impacted her. Alex confronted these changes head on, writing from them, analyzing them, finding meaning from them intellectually, creatively, emotionally and spiritually. Her poetry meditates on the dynamic nature of identity, specifically the ways that time and place shape the self. She struggles with ambivalence in the face of her “love/hate” relationship with time, identifies some hard won insights born from disillusionment, and considers the paradox that the nature of the essential self is intrinsically dynamic.