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The Right Way to Look at Things, by Bella Parsons

This digital story was created as part of a Digital Storytelling Workshop run in the Department of English Studies 2021. 

When we were e-mailed about these workshops, the word ‘storytelling’ caught my eye. But something I wasn’t too familiar with was the ‘digital’ aspect of it. Digital Storytelling filled me with curiosity, but also hints of doubt in my digital abilities. Knowing this was therefore something perhaps out of my depth, I decided to give it a go anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of creating my story digitally. Whilst I’ve learned how to make an impactful and yet personalised video, I found that there was no reason to be put off by the fact that it is made through a computer software. Since these stories are so personal anyway, you can make it as simple as you like (mine certainly was, still achieving the effects I was aiming for).

The most challenging part for me was finding a ‘transformational experience’ to write about. Of course, there are many transformational experiences we have, as English students, but to really reflect on just one of them in depth was very new to me. I’d usually reflect on these individual experiences fleetingly, without much thought. But since this project requires a 2-3 minute video, with images and audio to reflect our feelings, I found myself thinking much more deeply about my transformational experience. Though I felt vulnerable at first, sharing my story with strangers, talking about it began to feel really freeing.

It was enjoyable making my own story about something so close to my heart, but something even more touching was listening to other people’s stories. Each video was so different, and it was really beautiful to see how each person chose to portray their experiences. It was so lovely to see this in the showcase, with all the positive feedback we gave each other, too.

Overall, the experience has filled me with confidence, with regards to the digital world. I’m really glad of this, as even simple digital skills are vital for most careers these days. As well as this, it had a really positive impact on my mental well-being, too, being able to chat to such lovely like-minded people via Zoom, in the midst of this pandemic. Even if we were face-to-face, I’d have still loved meeting new people on my course. It’s so beneficial in the way that students have the opportunity to creatively open up to others. Above all, I’ve loved building connections with such lovely people I hope to stay in contact with.

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