“It’s the first time in my life that I really felt like I had to do something.”
The 24-year-old college student from Brooklyn, New York, had just started to attend the University of Maryland in College Park on a master’s degree in social media management, when she received an email from her professor asking her to participate in an experiment.
The professor was asking her questions about what kinds of memes were popular on social media.
It was a first for a college student and she was interested in finding out what people were talking about.
“I think that was one of the first times I was really, really focused on trying to figure out what I was saying was actually true,” she says.
“It was kind of scary at first because I was like, ‘What am I doing?'”
“I was a little scared,” she adds.
“But I got more comfortable as I was talking to my professors.”
“The first time I was able to talk to my professor about what I said was, ‘Wow, this is so weird.'”
In her first few days of college, Kelly took part in experiments with her professors and professors from other colleges, asking students to submit text, images, and videos of their own posts.
“As soon as I started working on my work, I realized that I was a good teacher,” she recalls.
“The way I work, there’s a lot of thinking that goes into teaching and I’m a good listener.”
“I really learned how to listen to what my students are saying,” she continues.
“That’s something that I think really resonated with me, that I just really learned about myself.”
She soon realized that her students had a different take on what she was saying.
“A lot of the people that I would be working with were like, “Oh, I just wanted to say that you’re the most interesting person in this room,'” Kelly says.
She felt a little bit like she was being judged, but it wasn’t that bad.
“And that’s a really great feeling to feel, and it’s something I think is very valuable to the learning process. “
If I’m just being honest, I started to feel like I was being liked more than I was liked,” she notes.
“And that’s a really great feeling to feel, and it’s something I think is very valuable to the learning process.
I felt like, okay, I’m going to make a good impression.
And I was happy about that.”
It was at the end of her semester that she started to notice an uptick in the popularity of the memes that she was creating, something that she says was very surprising.
She says that she noticed that some of her students were posting memes that seemed to be taking their words out of context and then taking it as if they were saying something that they weren’t.
Kelly found that when she made memes that were like this, they would make people feel uncomfortable, even though the content of their memes were actually true.
“For me, this really changed how I was thinking about what the word ‘meme’ meant to me,” she explains.
“What does that mean to you?”
For Kelly, the experience was not only a way to make friends, but also to develop a new set of skills that would help her in the future.
“My first year at school, it was just really difficult to do my homework,” she remembers.
“You could just barely keep up with what was going on.
But now, I feel like that’s changing.
I can keep up.”
For her, making memes can be an exciting way to expand the social sphere and help her learn more about her own audience.
“Being able to make memes can really help me understand what people think of me,” Kelly says, “and I think that’s really valuable for me to understand what they’re talking about.”