Spartan uses blog to broaden college experience, meet new people
Some people look at a cup of coffee as a small portal of sugar and caffeine to get their day started. But when Megan Gebhart sees the same cup of coffee, she views at it as an opportunity to meet a new person.
Gebhart, a marketing senior, started a blog on blogging platform Tumblr called “52 Cups of Coffee.” Gebhart said the goal of the blog, which began last summer, is to invite a different person she doesn’t know to have coffee with her each week.
After the meeting, Gebhart updates her blog with the person’s story and lessons she took away from the conversation.
“I think the strong message that comes out in blog is you only get one life,” Gebhart said. “It’s not about improving your social life, but (being) open to meet new people. They will truly change your life in unexpected ways.”
Gebhart said the blog was an idea she came up with because she was interested in meeting new people. She said the 52 cups are a round number to her because it allows her to meet a new person every week throughout a year.
In the 25 cups of coffee she’s had so far, she said she’s met with MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, Stefan Olander, vice president of Digital Sport for Nike, and Pat Crawford, director of the Bailey Scholars Program. She also has met with various entrepreneurs, students, corporate leaders and even a 6-year-old.
Denise Busley, co-founder of the Grand Traverse Pie Company, was the 14th person to meet with Gebhart. Busley said she was honored Gebhart contacted her and was happy to help.
In an age of Facebook and e-mail communication, Busley said it was nice to have a face to face conversation. Although Gebhart didn’t use a recorder or take notes during the conversation, Busley said she was impressed with the amount Gebhart was able to recall and translate to her blog.
“When somebody outside of your family plugs into you, it can be meaningful,” Busley said. “(She) appears to be the type of person, without judgment, (who) observes things to help her in her journey and lets the rest go.”
Jessica Colombo, a marketing senior, is friends with Gebhart and said Gebhart has been strategizing for the blog since they were on study abroad in Europe last year.
Colombo said Gebhart has a passion for meeting people because she has a zeal for learning and believes she can learn something from the people she meets.
“When you read the blog, you feel like you’re meeting that person, too,” Colombo said. “She’s coming out of this year knowing 52 new people she never would have come across otherwise — it broadens her scope of opportunities.”
Gebhart said the blog has taught her a lot about being compassionate toward other people and not to judge others, because everyone faces some sort of battle or adversity in life.
Gebhart said she plans to travel to Europe toward the end of the blog to finish meeting with the remaining people. She said she’s anxious to see how the blog will turn out but excited to continue the journey of meeting people and telling their stories.
“As long as I work hard at whatever I’m doing, life is going to work itself out,” Gebhart said. “(I’m) no longer so caught up with figuring my life out, but enjoying it and trusting where it will go.”