Storytelling group delves into freshman fiascos

by Monika Davis / Beacon Correspondent • April 12, 2017

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About 20 students gathered in Piano Row L151 to share funny tales and memories.
About 20 students gathered in Piano Row L151 to share funny tales and memories.

Chloe Ramos wants to create a space to share stories. But not just her own.

Based On A True Story is a new storytelling group on campus founded by Ramos, a freshman visual and media arts major and former Beacon correspondent. 

Ramos has been trying to figure out a way to bring people together to talk about their past experiences for a while and decided last month that this would be the perfect way to get everyone together. She said she wasn’t very involved on campus during the first semester of college, but knew she wanted to start something of her own near the end of the second semester.

The group’s first event was Wednesday. Every meeting, students can drop by and tell tales surrounding a certain theme. For the inaugural get-together, the theme was freshman year mistakes, mishaps, and misadventures. About 20 students showed up to share the silly or regretful decisions they made while young and new to college life. 

Olivia Kelliher, a freshman visual and media arts major who attended, said she loves this kind of gathering because she always gets inspiration from other people’s experiences. 

“I’ve been to stand-up comedy shows before, but it’s definitely cool to hear stories that are more personal or sad,” Kelliher said.

Ramos told a story about falling in the Charles River, and Kelliher talked about a creepy guy who used to sit next to her on the bus her freshman year of high school. 

Emma Cox, a freshman marketing communications major, attended to support a friend and tell a story about a Harvard party.

“I think we can learn to laugh at ourselves through storytelling and learn a lot about others by the stories they choose to tell,” Cox said.

In addition to monthly meetings, Ramos said she has other hopes for the group.

“Once we’re more established, I’m hoping we can create some type of end-of-year zine, a film, or maybe even a play,” Ramos said.

Ramos booked the room in the lower level of Piano Row on Spacebook and had a friend help her make posters. 

Based On A True Story is not an official organization yet, but Ramos said she hopes to keep it going next semester. Even though she is planning on studying abroad in the fall, Ramos said she wanted to get the ball rolling and run it remotely next semester. She said that she thinks some of her friends will take over and help her keep it going after she leaves.

“[The event] is really just a promo of what’s to come,” Ramos said.

Ramos said that the group is just getting started and it could definitely be something bigger in the future. She said the event might move to a larger venue, like the MPR.

“I feel like you can learn a lot from other people’s stories,” Ramos said. “Most of conversation is people just telling stories about their lives, so I think this would just be more formal way to tell stories where everyone can learn more about each other.”

Ramos said she feels like storytelling is one of the most untapped creative fields.

“Everyone in every major can learn something by telling stories, especially film, journalism, and theater,” Ramos said. “It’s a really good way to connect with other people.”