Creativity can sometimes be difficult to express in a school with thousands of students. It’s easy to become just another number in a head count and get lost in all the stress of schoolwork and part-time jobs. It seems as though there is never any time to just sit in front of a blank piece of paper with a pen in your hand and see what you can make of it. But the thing about college is that professors insist that students do take that time to just sit and write or draw or read something other than a textbook that will probably end up putting you to sleep.
There is no shortage of outlets in which students can get involved in activities other than sleeping, eating, and stressing out over homework. There is one outlet in particular that really caught my attention: the Folio literary magazine. This magazine is a huge part of Southern Connecticut State University’s creative community. The Folio was first published in 1948 and is a magazine that comes out with an issue once a year where students of all ages and majors are welcome to submit anything they would like to see published. This includes, and is surely not limited to, poems, short stories, photography, and paintings. The best part is the allowed time before the due date. This year, submissions are due just before winter break. I love that because you’re not put under any real pressure. In a way it mirrors what the arts are all about in the sense that creativity is not something that you can put a time restraint on. It’s something that just comes naturally and sometimes in the most unexpected way and time.
For example, you could be walking downtown on your way to an internship when the clouds are heavy with impending rain and see the silhouette of the yellow leaves on an almost bare tree next to an aging street lamp. You’re then reminded of how you once thought about how tragically beautiful it was that in their last moments of life, leaves are as bright and warm as a sunset on the beach. So you stop in your tracks and marvel at its magnificent irony and then take out your phone to take a picture. Now, most people would just put this picture on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, but what lasting effect would that have? Maybe a couple of people will “like” it and click the little heart to indicate that, but then it’s lost and forgotten on your mile-long post count. With the Folio, you can go back in time by going to Southern’s website and looking at archives of issues published from the beginning. That’s right; you can learn about WWII through the eyes of people who actually experienced it. But if you’re not that big a fan of reading, you can always attend monthly readings. These take place just inside the Student Center on the first Friday of every month. Students are encouraged to attend to have some food, listen to good music, and just hang out while also getting the chance to share what they’ve created at the open mic event.
Article by Rachel Didsbury, a sophomore at Southern Connecticut State University. She is an intern at the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.