When you were younger, everyone had a specific subject strength in school. There were those who excelled in math, science, history, art, or for me, english. Ever since I could remember I enjoyed mastering all of the pronouns and verb tenses, and never thought twice about conjunctions and conjugations.
I was the child who would rather be assigned an eight-paged paper than read about the internal contents of the human body. A lot of friends seemed to sway the other way, but it had never occurred to me that my interest of english and writing could ever affect my post-high school schooling in any way.
You can ask anyone, growing up I started hundreds of my own “stories” with my neighbors in our very own book club. We allowed any creative thought in our minds to be formed on paper, and felt satisfied with our ideas. We conversed with one another if we ever got writer’s block, drew covers, wrote pages upon pages, and read through each other’s work to give feedback. It was fun. It was freeing. It felt like a part of us.
Fast forward to middle school, I entered public school and was surprised with some of the discoveries I’d made. I had wonderful english teachers that exposed me to the true elements of literature, and guided our class through intriguing short stories like “The Tell Tale Heart”. I was taught so many different perspectives of writing that it kept me coming to class eager to learn more. Most of my friends assumed I was absurd for enjoying the writing assignments, but it was an opportunity for me to be creative, and get credit for it.
Entering high school, I chose to take the “honors” english course, as they were called at the time, while all my friends took on the challenge of advanced science and math classes in addition to the english course. I was slightly overwhelmed at all of the assignments and high expectations from the start, but I liked writing, so it shouldn’t be too bad, right?
I was pushed to the max each year in english from freshman year through my senior year. The summer reading assignments, never-ending annotations, analysis paper after analysis paper, critiques, powerpoint presentations over authors, endless literary devices, poems, and—surprise—really difficult, complex tests I over-thought every time! I questioned why I was doing this to myself, but I kept trudging along.
From what I’d experienced at that point in time, I considered writing something I was “decent” at, but nothing more. After all, as years went on, the workload increased, and suddenly this wasn’t like the make believe stories I created back in elementary school. I never thought I was good enough to do anything with writing, or had any opportunities with it.
However, I was wrong. During the second semester of my senior year, it clicked. I remember sitting in class, watching the digital clock and trying to calculate exactly how many minutes were left until lunch, when my teacher pulled up a video about the importance of writing. It touched on all of the possibilities, the benefit of all of the skills we were learning, and the purpose writers have. They have the privilege, and opportunity, to share their voice with the world. (It made me teary-eyed for some reason, not going to lie). From that moment on, everything I had done previously, clicked. Suddenly assignments became enjoyable, and I put my all into every assignment. My effort wasn’t just improving my grades, but also my self-esteem. I had finally found my niche.
When I went off to college, my writing abilities weren’t exactly first on my radar when I went through course selections and major/minor decisions, even though it was one of the few things I was confident on scholastically.
I trusted myself, and wanted to utilize the campus as a new opportunity to discover any untapped potential. However, after being assigned papers, both nerve-racking and enjoyable, I realized I had finally discovered what truly made me happy. Regardless of the amount of time I may complain about the amount of time writing will take, I thoroughly enjoy it. After coming to this realization, I changed my minor to Creative Writing. It was a simple process, but a transforming moment. I felt as if this nagging from years past finally had its way, and I decided to do something about my love for writing.
With a campus of around 26,000 people, I get asked quite often what my major/minor is, or what classes I’m taking for the current semester. After informing them of all of the writing courses I’m involved in, they appear taken back, asking me either why I would do that to myself, or why I loved writing so much. My answer, was simple. I’d spent years wondering what made myself continue with such a unique skill, and want to constantly make improvements. I guess in this case ‘practice makes perfect’ really can make a difference (sorry for the cliche phrase B-Ram).
Writing is an outlet. It’s a way to express yourself without speaking at all, but saying a whole lot. It’s a way for your inner thoughts to flow through your fingertips and form pages of intimate text. It’s a way to better your grammatical skills and other grammatical rules, while also having the ability to follow no rules at all. It’s a way to share your voice, to change perspectives, and to share ideas. It brings me great joy to only need a pen or pencil to create any storyline or person I want. It’s calming, mindless, and beautiful.
That’s why I love it.