Janet Medlin

Name:  Janet Medlinjanet-medlin-400x600

College:  Cowell

Department:  Anthropology and Literature (Double Major)

What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? Jeremy Demian Marx Award for Cultural Anthropology

What year do you expect to graduate? Spring 2021

Where do you call home?  Santa Clara, California

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?  UC Santa Cruz was actually my dream school as a kid after attending a swim meet there as an elementary schooler, and later a GAINS (Girls Achieving in Non-Traditional Subjects) field trip as a middle schooler. I fell in love with the campus’ picturesque scenery of redwoods and the ocean, especially since I enjoy spending time in nature. An additional plus was how near UC Santa Cruz is to home for me (about a thirty-five to forty minute drive), because I’ve always had a close relationship with my family.

What is your field of focus?  I’ve always loved Cultural Anthropology more than Anthropology’s other disciplines, such as Biological or Archaeology. Narrative and language’s roles in Literature have interested me as well.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?  I hope to find a full-time job pursuing writing in any context, and maybe go on to acquire a Master’s in Journalism or some other writing-related field. Writing has always been my passion, so I hope I can use my skills to help and inform others on a variety of subjects.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?  Receiving this award is an incredible honor for me, and marks the first time I’ve ever been granted a scholarship (especially for my writing). My paper topic was intergenerational/familial relationships during quarantine (not just my own family’s relationships, but my friends’ and teacher’s as well), meaning I put much of my heart and personality into this piece of work. While it is scary to be vulnerable in any sense--whether it be through writing, speaking, or any other form of expression--that kind of raw/genuine honesty is what resonates and connects with people the most.

What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?  I would tell them that friendships/people you’re close to come and go, but the right ones always stay and you’ll come out stronger from the adversity (and learn a lot of important life lessons along the way). College is the perfect opportunity to begin to learn how to embrace and thrive in your independence, since being comfortable in your own skin is an essential life skill. Make the most out of your time at UC Santa Cruz however you enjoy it--whether that looks like attending a party and socializing, or staying in with a good book or movie--because it definitely flies by! Remember to also take advantage of the campus’ natural beauty (such as its numerous hiking trails or nearby beaches), both as studying and hangout spots. As for academics, I’ve found that splitting up my assignments--such as writing a page a day for a seven-page paper over the span of a week rather than cramming in seven pages the night before the deadline--makes the workload a lot more manageable (and as enjoyable or stress-free as possible).

How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?  This scholarship greatly assures myself of my writing skills, especially since this is the field I’ll be pursuing in regards to my future career and academic paths. Because I have a stutter, writing was how I found my voice. It means more than I can articulate to be recognized and awarded for my writing, which has kept me sane and helped me express myself throughout my life.

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