Amanda Betts -Staff Writer
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While Ashley Hartos has only been dancing since the spring semester of her freshman year of college, her version of art has always been extremely important.
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As a senior communication major with a concentration in journalism and a minor in English writing, she is learned in many aspects of writing. For her, it is something she is very passionate about it. “I’ve written so many short stories and poems,” Hartos says. She has even sent some stories in hopes of them being chosen for next year’s Tobeco Journal. Tobeco is a student organization that helps members to enhance their writing and focuses on the importance of “incorporating artistic expression into everyday life,” according to the organization’s CUConnect page.
When it comes to journalism, Hartos is primarily interested in editing. She thoroughly enjoys the creative spin she can put on others’ writings. Her favorite thing about her time as a writer and editor is that there is no limit on the options one has creatively. “You can write about whatever you want without reservation,” she explains. She feels that if a person is truly serious about their writing, absolutely nothing can hold them back
Writing and editing are not the only forms of art that Hartos participates in, however. She is also the active secretary of the Hip Hop Dance Team at Clarion University. After her friends convinced her to try out for the team her freshman year, she found even more passion within her dancing. She had been a cheerleader when she was young, but rediscovered her love for it through her dance. Hartos credits the Hip Hop team for helping her to come out of her shell and make friends as a new college student. The thrill of performing gives her a rush each time. “Hearing their [the audience’s] reaction makes all the hard work worth it!” she says.
Hartos used to have an art minor as well, and although she ended up not continuing to pursue it, drawing is something else she really enjoys.
Choosing Clarion University as her college was a very easy decision to make. Her aunt and uncle attended the university and she had grown up hearing good things about it, but wanted to see it for herself, and planned a visit to the campus. “Even though it was a rainy day, I loved it!” Hartos says. “It seemed like the perfect size and it felt homey.” She has never regretted her decision to attend Clarion, and believes she has been given many opportunities here that she may not have gotten somewhere else.
Hartos would like to encourage other students to pursue their versions of art in their college experience. “Art is important in every form,” she says. For her, doing what makes you happy is nonnegotiable. “Create something beautiful for the world to see or read,” she urges. In her opinion, that can make everything else worth it.