Writing For An Audience Can Be Scary, But We Are All In This Together

Writing For An Audience Can Be Scary, But We Are All In This Together

I used to think writing was about being perfect.

Have you ever sat down with something pounding in your head that you want to write out, but don't know how? If so, this one goes out to you!

Writing can get a bad rep. As students, we tend to think of writing as a long research report. We tend to think we can never be great writers because our favorite authors have had many great ideas. Well, you're not going to think that anymore!

As someone who has loved to write since fifth grade, I'm here to tell you, it does not matter what you write. It does not matter who likes it or who doesn't like it. Writing comes from your mind, your words, your passions.

I used to think writing was about being perfect. I had to choose the perfect words. I had to make sure there were more words rather than more passion. I believed writing was about success and not joy. If we, writers, shoot for quantity over quality, then what's the point?

I remember taking part in Young Authors in elementary. I loved it. It was a way to express myself. It was a way to put all the creative stuff I had going on in my mind on to paper. I look back at the "book" I wrote and I'm glad I did it. I see the passion I had for the book I was writing. I now get to see how far I have come in my writing.

Writing is not about what you can put forth. It is about growth. If you always look at the person next to you and think that you could've done better, just know that writing is a personal thing. If you look at the rest of the writers on Odyssey, you will see our different ways of writing.

Some writers love to tell personal stories. Some writers love to tell fictional stories. Some writers love doing poetry.

Writing takes time. It doesn't just happen. You have to come up with the idea, and sometimes you'll start to write only to end up not liking it. Sometimes you have this great idea, but you have no idea how to put it into words. Sometimes, you have no idea what to write.

Writing takes encouragement. Writing takes gut. Writing takes trust. Writing takes time.

If you like to write, write! Don't worry about what others think. Just look at Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick. He was rejected multiple times from publishers. George Orwell was rejected for his book, "Animal Farm." "Lord Of The Flies" author, William Golding, was rejected 20 times before his book was finally published. Even J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times with "Harry Potter."

Writing is not about being perfect. It is about bringing what you love to the table. It might be frightening at first, but what isn't? Do not worry about what others think. Don't worry about whether or not someone likes your work. Think about it like this- do you like every author in the world's writing? Probably not.

If you love to write, don't give up!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Henrichs

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10 Things That Only Happen On Small Campuses

"No, we don't have a football team"

Don't let people give you the pitiful "ohhhh" when you reveal your enrollment at a small school. Everyone who goes to a small school can agree that it is nothing like a large, state school. I think even those state school students will confirm that. But what people don't know about a small school is that it has its perks, and they are good.

1. Leaving your room 5 minutes before class...and still being on time

2. Guaranteed to get at least one "hey" every time you walk somewhere

3. Actually knowing the people who follow you on Instagram, Facebook friends, or dare I say...Tinder

4. Making friends outside of your major is more common than not

5. You also know every single person in your major

6. Going through a super awkward and aggressive orientation program as a freshman and using that as a strong common bond with a (then) complete stranger

7. Probably finding your best friend through that previously mentioned hideously intense, ice-breaker-obessed orientation program

8. Anticipating the long* wait for food on those really good days but knowing when to go to get around it
*long is really only like 15 minutes

9. There is no cover charge at parties...yes, apparently this is a thing

10. Being invited to dinners at the president's house because you're on a first name basis (oh yeah, and Mrs. President floats around campus regularly with baked pastries and warm smiles)

So if you're looking for a tight-knit community that loves to give out hello's when they are due, or a campus where you can wake up and eat breakfast 30 minutes before class and still be on time, look into those small schools that maybe don't have a 50,000 seat stadium. What they do have are the people you will remember and that will remember you, classes that taught you beyond the test, and a uniqueness that just isn't found at a large school. At a small school you're a face, a name, your own legacy...not a number.

Cover Image Credit: Roanoke College Facebook page

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.


So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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