Learning To Accept Criticism

Learning To Accept Criticism

Life is one big workshop, and you're in the hot seat.
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With the high tide of the semester rolling in and pulling out so quickly, it can be difficult to navigate the sea of assignments and rough drafts that seem to, all at once, be submitted and resubmitted. If you’re someone that takes criticism well, congratulations, you are probably less affected by this than the lot of us. However, if you’re like me and hearing your name said in a terse tone leaves shivers down your spine, this is perhaps the most miserable time of the year.

Being fully aware that accepting and learning from criticism is part of “growing up,” I am learning day after day, bitten tongue after sullen tear, to be okay with receiving criticism. The difficulty is probably deeply rooted in my childhood, which left me often feeling as if I lived under a microscope. Thus, with every nod and “thank you” e-mail I send out, I learn to repress my childish fear of changing myself and improving. This can prove incredibly difficult as an English major because there’s a certain pride in everything I submit (well, most everything). It leaves me feeling like every work I give in is, if not my best work, a well enough alone work. In math I often made mistakes and oftentimes could look back and see that; there’s nothing objective about it, I was completely and utterly wrong. In English, my work is something which belongs to me, and not to Avogadro or the Pythagorean Theorem.

When it comes to turning in a paper, either it’s perfect, or I knowingly submitted a crappy first draft in hopes of receiving useful feedback that I can later use to write said perfect paper. But I am not perfect, and when I played volleyball or threw a javelin or acted in school plays I wasn’t perfect either. While I think my self-esteem processes such information LOUD AND CLEAR, I often get so caught up in being the best I can be that I forget there’s room for improvement, and sometimes you need a helping hand in reaching the next level of progress. I shouldn’t say that I think that I’m perfect, but I sometimes think that whatever help I need, I can provide for myself, and that no teacher or instructor or coach can tell me different. But I’m wrong, and I know I’m wrong, and I am learning to cope in different ways.

One of the easiest ways I’ve learned to give in to criticism is by reminding myself that it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t do well. I have lived through 2017, I have seen what damn near looks like the end of the world, and it most certainly didn’t look like an A- on a research paper for an English Elective. I have found this especially easy when it comes to non-verbal criticism, and it has become easier and easier for me to read an email title, swallow hard, and open the tab.

The worst it could say is that I failed— realistically, the worst it could really say is a C+ because knowing myself I at least cited correctly and included all of the given criteria. Verbally, I often fail myself and start to cry, but for me, such is not unusual even in passing conversation; I cry sometimes when I look at pictures of dogs up for adoption that I love but will never have. I have learned to accept that crying is just part of me and that I can so casually do it that it shouldn’t even be a cause for concern. I cried, and?

The other biggest part of criticism that I am trying to break away from is the notion that I can’t do what is being asked. Often when you’ve got your mind set on one thing it can feel impossible to work past it or improve on it. Fiction can be difficult in this way, as so often I find myself getting wrapped up in my own story and characters. My own connection to the characters lets me forget that, hopefully, there are other people reading it.

William Faulkner was once quoted having said that in writing we must “kill our darlings,” and while the prospects of that seem scary, I am learning that criticism helps me to do exactly that, and I am all the better writer for it. I kill all my metaphorical darlings, I unravel stories and I thicken plots and I tighten prose and I do exactly what my teachers ask because, in the end, they’re probably right. They’re looking out for me, for all their students, and for every improvement I make I will find that all the constructive clouds have silver linings, if I’m willing to work for them.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap / Pixabay

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50 One-Liners College Girls Swap With Their Roomies As Much As They Swap Clothes

"What would I do without you guys???"
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1. "Can I wear your shirt out tonight?"

2. "Does my hair look greasy?"

3. "We should probably clean tomorrow..."

4. "What should I caption this??"

5. "Is it bad if I text ____ first??"

6. "Should we order pizza?"

7. *Roommate tells an entire story* "Wait, what?"

8. "How is it already 3 AM?"

9. "I need a drink."

10. "McDonalds? McDonalds."

11. "GUESS WHAT JUST HAPPENED."

12. "Okay like, for real, I need to study."

13. "Why is there so much hair on our floor?"

14. "I think I'm broke."

15. "What do I respond to this?"

16. "Let's have a movie night."

17. "Why are we so weird?"

18. "Do you think people will notice if I wear this 2 days in a row?"

19. "That guy is so stupid."

20. "Do I look fat in this?"

21. "Can I borrow your phone charger?

22. "Wanna go to the lib tonight?"

23. "OK, we really need to go to the gym soon."

24. "I kinda want some taco bell."

25. "Let's go out tonight."

26. "I wonder what other people on this floor think of us."

27. "Let's go to the mall."

28. "Can I use your straightener?"

29. "I need coffee."

30. "I'm bored, come back to the room."

31. "Should we go home this weekend?"

32. "We should probably do laundry soon."

33. "Can you see through these pants?"

34. "Sometimes I feel like our room is a frat house..."

35. "Guys I swear I don't like him anymore."

36."Can I borrow a pencil?"

37. "I need to get my life together...."

38. "So who's buying the Uber tonight?"

39. "Let's walk to class together."

40. "Are we really pulling an all-nighter tonight?"

41. "Who's taking out the trash?"

42. "What happened last night?"

43. "Can you help me do my hair?"

44. "What should I wear tonight?"

45. "You're not allowed to talk to him tonight."

46. "OMG, my phone is at 1 percent."

47. "Should we skip class?"

48. "What should we be for Halloween?"

49. "I love our room."

50. "What would I do without you guys???"

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Gabaldon

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Dear Incoming freshmen

Hello Baby Gulls!

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Dear incoming freshmen,

First of all I want to welcome all of you to the nest, you are now baby gulls and will be starting a new chapter of your lives. You have accomplished the chapter of high school wither it was the worst part of your life or the best it's done over with. Now though it is time to start thinking about your future. I will start by saying that when you made the choice to come to Endicott you where not just making the choice to continue your story, but you made the choice to meet new friends, expand your horizons and most importantly you made the choice to find what you. I am not going to write to you guys and tell you everything that I should know about the school you will learn all that in orientation, also I am not going to pretend I know everything about Endicott because frankly I don't as it is i am only a Sophomore and don't know as much as a I should. What I am going to tell you is this college is a whole new ball game with curves balls and pop flys thrown at you at every direction, it can be scary. I know I was scared when I first entered college and now I cant wait to go back it's crazy, like really it is. As your go through freshman year though try to remember some of these key points. Get involved, Im not talking get involved with a girl or a guy, but hey if that happens that awesome what I mean is this join clubs, or even sport try something that you haven't even done before, who knows you might be killer at it. Really though don't be afraid to try new things. My next nugget of advice i have for you is this keep an open mind about friends. Like I said college is a new ball game that means you are stepping into a game where nobody knows you, you can make yourself who ever you want to be, just don't forget your morals. Don't forget you have the billowy to walk away form anything you don't want to do. there are all different people in college they come from different places and have been raised differently from you it doesn't mean they are wrong in there thoughts or actions. Just keep an open mind about people and who knows maybe you will meet your new best friend. Okay lets move on to roommates, now i know some on you have already picked your roommates which fro you guys thats killer and nice job, but for those of us that are going random that is great to there is nothing wrong with that, but here is the best advice i can give you about going random. Talk to your roommate before you start the school year. When you first move in you will have what is called a roommate agreement this just lists the rules of the room that you and your roommates or roommates set up, really think about this and do not just agree with what one person wants to do. Remember you guys are going to be living with each other for the next year, you don't want to be fighting all the time. Okay guys I don't want to give away all my advice, but i wish you guys that best and wish you luck on this new chapter of your life, its going to be a rollercoster you will get flipped turned and maybe even fly out of the set, but also remember that college is a fun time so enjoy it while you can because its going to fly by. Once again welcome to the nest!

Cover Image Credit:

Kayla Whitcher

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