An Introduction

Who I am and How I Ended Up with the Spectrum

I’m Jon, my full name is technically Jonathan, but I prefer Jon with all its uniqueness. I used to write articles through classes with and through being a writer for the Mystician at Bismarck State College, which is a part of an umbrella program there called Mystic Media. It was with Mystic Media, and even before that, I had an interest in gaining experience with things like InDesign, Photoshop, PowerPoint, Canva, Illustrator, etc.

This is what I’m going to school for to gain as many technical skills as possible. My major is Strategic Communication, which is one of the few communication programs offered at NDSU. With this major, you have the option to either pick advertisement or public relations. I like the broadness of this program I’m in because there are many directions you can go with it.

A good example of this is one of the communication courses I’m involved with this semester, Advanced Media Writing, which is basically an investigative journalism class. In this course, we learn to do research while collecting data and working with that data for weekly assignments.

I transferred to NDSU as a junior in 2021 to be adventurous and to find more opportunities, like being on the Spectrum. As I took all the courses, I could at BSC that would fulfill my requirements for my major there, which was Speech Communication. But I also wanted to make sure that any of the courses I have taken would eventually transfer.

Even though I wanted to finish there, I decided not to because the classes I had left would have potentially taken a full year to complete with how the system there was set up. I didn’t arrive on the campus of NDSU until last spring due to my apartment lease in Bismarck not being up until December. I have a lot of interests and things I would like to experience.

One of the things that I enjoy is challenging myself to overcome my shortcomings and having an adventure while doing it. The biggest challenge I’ve ever had was figuring out how and in what ways to speak my mind. I’d try to speak about what was going on in my head, but that wasn’t always the easiest due to the complexity of communicating my thoughts. The reasoning for that is that I’m on the Autistic Spectrum. But that’s just icing on the cake when it comes to who I am.

Autism is a neurological disorder where you view, process information, and even see things differently. From others that I’ve connected with through my adventures, some would say that if you meet one person who is on the spectrum. You have met one person on the spectrum! There is often a one-size fit mentality for certain groups of people, like those on the spectrum are forced into. Like any other minority, stereotypes have played roles in this; a good example of this is in a place that thinks that you’re not able to contribute too much.

Being on the Autism Spectrum alone doesn’t define all of us because there’s more to it; it’s a complex thing. With folks on the spectrum, there are experiences, other diagnoses, where you’re from, background, things you overcame, where you are today, and interests that affect you as a person.
My thoughts are either what my interests are or what my current circumstances would be. These thoughts, of course, would either be positive or negative, but most of my thoughts were rather gloomy outlooks on everything.

Eventually, the more I challenged myself with my thought process, the better things would become. But that would come at a price. Like a computer, I was updating into a new form. We’ve all been told that everyone is different, and that is true to some extent.

There are those that have come from different experiences that have shaped their perception and even their vision of things. I’m one of those folks! I’ve come from some very challenging experiences that I’ve had to endure, overcome, and even somewhat accept in order to be where I am currently.

I had interests in things that seemed so far away and almost out of reach at first. But, I would eventually discover signs of potential things that could happen if I did something to reach those interests. That’s how my adventure began, how I have been sharing my experiences, and how it all shaped my point of view. My articles that I did with the Mystician are evidence of all that and more! Below is a portfolio of my recent work while at BSC and so much more.

We all have our ways of presenting ourselves; I have many ways myself. Me writing for the way I’ve written for the student papers for me has been a fun way to do that. It’s like a place where you can organize your thoughts and have time to present them in ways that are creative. The cool thing about Spectrum is that it provides an avenue to start branching out to gain experience. There are only so many opportunities that come as well, so that was the main reason, skill-wise, that I decided to join Spectrum. Because I was hoping there be other options for my major besides this specifically.

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