MU & Me Instagram account shares ‘drops of joy’

The+MU+%26+Me+Instagram+account%2C+run+by+two+first-year+students%2C+emphasizes+community+by+featuring+students+from+all+walks+of+life.+Photo+via+Instagram

The MU & Me Instagram account, run by two first-year students, emphasizes community by featuring students from all walks of life. Photo via Instagram

The transition to college can be a difficult one for anyone, as there are so many new people to meet, places to see and things to experience. In light of all the difficulties in being away from home and with the recent coronavirus outbreak that has in-person classes suspended until April 10, one student-run Instagram account is striving to provide hints of hope and love to the Marquette community.

Two first-year students, one in the College of Health Sciences and one in the College of Business Administration, began an Instagram account called MU & me in November of last semester. The account is “filled with people from the Marquette community having the time of their life on campus or in the surrounding area,” the MU & me account managers said.

Their goal: bring the Marquette campus and students together as one community and one family, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

The two students wished to remain anonymous while continuing to run the account.

“The two of us met at the beginning of the year and quickly bonded over our shared love of photography,” MU & me said in an email. “After a few months, we had so many pictures of all our friends and others around campus, we didn’t know what to do with them … That’s when we got the idea of ‘what if we could do this with everyone?'”

Finding a name for their account was one of the first things on their list.

The MU & me students originally wanted to name their account similar to the Humans of New York page, but ultimately decided against it as they thought the name MU & me best encompassed their goal. 

The Humans of New York page is an Instagram page that features different people in New York and shares their personal stories that make them unique. The MU & me account does something similar to this, but is specific to the Marquette community.

“Through the name, we are demonstrating that while we may not always be on campus or in school, together we are one,” MU & me said in an email.

In the beginning, the account mostly featured posts of their close friends, typically first-year students, but quickly became much more than that.

“It went from the friends we knew very well to strangers we saw on the (Raynor Memorial Library) bridge or in the brew,” MU & me said in an email.

The students explained the process featuring a student on their account. They said they ask for the student’s permission and then their name, expected graduation year, hometown, majors and minors and then their “drop of joy,” which is a quote to describe themself.

“Adding the drop of joy gives you an insight on the person’s values, desires, goals or simply reveals a part of them one would miss had they only taken a glance at them while passing them on the street,” MU & me said in an email.

They said they also take direct messages from students where they can submit photos of other students and friends with permission.

“The whole idea behind MU & me is to reflect the ideas of beauty and love that are expressed on Marquette’s campus through both the people and the location,” MU & me said in an email. “Personally, we believe that when you see something beautiful in someone, you should speak it. By taking submissions we are allowing students to take initiative and recognize the beauty that surrounds them.”

Michael Donato, a first-year student in the College of Engineering, was one student featured on the Instagram account.

“My friends submitted it for me … I thought it was strange that they wanted me to pose on a fire hydrant on the way to eat,” Donato said. “I had just seen ‘The Mandalorian’ so I used a Yoda quote as my ‘drop of joy.'”

Donato’s drop of joy was “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Nathaniel Shin, a first-year student in the College of Health Sciences, was also featured on the account.

Shin said he agreed when a friend asked him to be showcased.

His drop of joy was “When given the choice of being right or being kind, choose kindness” by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Shin said he chose this quote because he believes nothing is too big that you should have to lose someone’s respect or friendship over.

“If my ego can’t handle letting something go, that shows there is a problem with me,” Shin said. “Especially today, people need to show more grace and patience than ever, and kindness is one of the best ways to do it.”

The MU & me students said they hope Marquette students can find a sense of community through their account in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and will beginning showing students in their hometowns rather than on campus.

“It is often apparent, especially in the cold dark months, the energy on campus can seem to slow down, but we hope through this account we can remind students of the beauties that surround them and often hide in the most unusual corners,” MU & me said in an email.

They said they believe having a sense of community is especially important now that Marquette students, staff and faculty cannot be together physically.

“We still support and love one another from opposite sides of the world, and despite our almost silent campus, We Are Marquette.”

This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at skyler.chun@marquette.edu.