Villanova Sophomores Launch New Social Media Project


grant carter

Ashley Park Staff Writer

The Quality of Life Project, more commonly known as the QOL Project, was started by Grant Carter, a sophomore at Villanova University, as a social media project that aims to share students’ stories and provide a platform to express thoughts.

Starting on Instagram in December of 2018, the QOL Project has featured more than 40 people so far. Anyone can be featured by reaching out via Instagram DM or personally asking Carter.

“It’s just a way of chronologizing where people are in life,” Carter said. “People have a lot to share, looking back on where they have been, where they are, or where they will be.”

Carter noticed that there were faces in his own friend group that he did not really know much about. Taking inspiration from Instagrammer @robs10kfriends, whose goal is to meet 10,000 people and share their stories on his Instagram account, Carter started the QOL Project to learn more about people and hear about what they had to say.

“I thought it was such a cool project to have something to center your creative and social life around,” Carter said. “I’ve always really liked planning big things like that, and it was a new means of expression.”

Carter met Megan Amico, a sophomore at Villanova University and partner of the QOL Project, at the beginning of last fall semester. They started to reflect on the everyday mannerisms we see and do ourselves when running into friends: asking them how they are doing.

Amico credits Carter for turning this idea into an actual project and using Instagram as a means of sharing what people had to say and wanted to share about themselves with others.

“Grant is someone who genuinely cares about giving people a platform to really say something about the world, allowing for a deeper connection with someone you might not have had that with,” Amico said. “He genuinely cares about hearing people’s stories.”

According to Carter, the goal has been and continues to be about meeting people and letting the conversation flow and lead itself.

“It’s always a very surface level answer and small lens way of looking at how you’re doing,” Amico said. “We started using different phrases to ask how you were doing like ‘how are you doing as a person’ and ‘how is your life going,’ trying to evoke different answers. We started asking ‘how is your quality of life’ and settled on that because to us, how is your quality of life is not asking how you are doing right now, but how are you feeling despite what you are feeling in this present moment.”

According to Carter, the QOL Project is different from other similar projects like the Humans of NY because it is more of an interview process that shares holistic stories about people you know and see around campus. Rather than focusing on the individual’s life story, the project allows people to say whatever they want, inviting them to share how their quality of life is or what has influenced their life what it currently is.

“There are no questions being asked,” Amico said. “There are no rules. What do you want to say? What do you want to tell people?”

The project aims to share with its followers the different sides to the familiar faces they see from a distance.

“I think part of the QOL project is being shamelessly yourself and not being afraid of showing those sides of you that you wouldn’t normally put forward in a normal interaction,” Amico said. “I think the reason the QOL concept really resonated with me was that it went against the grain of every day surface level interaction.”

Carter refers to the QOL Project as his “creative compromise of sorts,” as it has given him the platform to challenge himself to do something outside of schoolwork. Neither Grant nor Amico fear the future of the QOL Project as they are simply going with the flow with no set plan, leaving the end goal as open as possible. The QOL Project has been taking a new direction every day, using a trial and error method more or less to grow the project.

“It’s [more] about the individual stories than a singular objective,” Carter said. “Meeting all these people in a way more meaningful level has been so rewarding.” 

They plan on taking the project to as many people as possible.

“As long as people have things to share and want to share with us, it will keep going,” Amico said. “If people have stuff to share, it will just keep going up and up.”