On St. Patrick’s Day last year, Austin Peay student Amanda McNair posted an Instagram photo of her dressed in green – from neon green wig atop her head to the green that lined her Chuck Taylor soles.
The green held a gentle presence, though, compared to the orange splashes in the photo – her Chucks, earrings, scarf and sunglasses all screamed bright orange.
“I love art and creativity, so I try to bring that into my life,” said McNair, who is set to graduate with two computer science degrees in May. “I like doing themes whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Christmas.”
That means her St. Patrick’s Day post was a typical holiday post for her. But her other 2019 posts were not. A friend challenged McNair to post a story every day for her New Year’s resolution.
“I’m more of a picture person, so I came up with the idea to post a photo every day, then I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. That’s 365 different posts,” she said. “If you check it out, I switched out the wigs every single day, but I actually completed it, my New Year’s resolution.”
Yes, McNair posted an elaborate Instagram photo shoot nearly every day in 2019. Here’s a sampling of one post from each month:
Jan. 1: She announced the challenge: “Post something every day! For someone who loves taking pictures, this seems reasonable.”
Feb. 9: This day celebrated National Bagels Day and National Pizza Pie Day, so McNair carb-loaded on both.
March 10: On National Mario Day (Mar10), she found a Mario outfit.
April 28: On National Superhero Day, she put on a superhero costume.
May 28: On National Hamburger Day, she dressed as a … yes, hamburger.
June 3: On National Egg Day, she juggled some eggs, and some did not survive.
July 23: On National Gorgeous Grandma, she put on a gray wig with curlers.
Aug. 11: On National Spirit of ‘45 Day, she dressed as Rosie the Riveter.
Sept. 15: On National Wife Appreciation Day, she put on a full wedding dress.
Oct. 4: On National Taco Day, she dressed in a taco-themed shirt and munched on tacos.
Nov. 4: On National Candy Day, she posed with an assortment of M&Ms AND an assortment of Chuck Taylors.
Dec. 9: On National Pastry Day, she posted a series of photos chronicling her love of Pillsbury’s Toaster Strudels. Pillsbury responded, “Love it!”
“I took a lot of the photos myself, because I couldn’t find someone to take a picture of me every single day,” McNair said.
McNair is focusing on holidays this year and not posting every day because, “It was just so much work.” But her posts were a hit.
“Some people were amazed, some people were always looking forward to it,” she said. “When I stopped, they were sad because it brought them joy. I didn’t think it would bring anyone any.”
Pursuing two computer science degrees
McNair is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and another in computer information technology. She’s also pursuing a minor in mobile software technology.
She applies some of her colorfulness to her studies, too.
“I always have to make it look really artsy; I don’t do the bare minimum,” McNair said. “Some people think my work is kind of crazy, but others, they’re like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.
“It shows that not all computer science people are boring or don’t have creativity. I’m the exception to the stereotype.”
McNair wants to be a software developer who focuses on designing products that will touch people’s lives.
“I really want to combine art and the code together,” she said.
Austin Peay State University has helped her to that goal.
“As I’ve learned more and different [computer] languages, I feel so much more confident,” McNair said. “My communication skills are better, and now that I’m a senior, my leadership skills are on point, and I know they’ll get better.”
For more about the computer science and information technology program, visit apsu.edu/csci. McNair’s Instagram handle is @amandamcnair98.