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.
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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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Jason Kulpa, San Diego CEO and Founder of Jason Kulpa Wife Scholarship, Reveals 3 Smart Ways to Tame the High Cost of College

The cost of college is going nowhere but up, but you do not have to succumb to all that debt.

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If you are worried about the high cost of higher education, you are not alone. With the cost of college tuition going nowhere but up and financial aid holding steady or going down, even middle- and upper-class parents often worry that they will not be able to make their dreams of a college education for their children come true.

No matter who you are or where you live, the cost of a college education keeps going up. If you want to help your son or daughter graduate without crippling college loan debt, you need to think out of the box and look for creative ways to tame the high cost of a college education.

Apart from applying to scholarships to fund higher education, such as the Jason Kulpa Wife Scholarship (learn more at www.jasonkulpawife.com), there are three strategies you can use to reduce the cost of college without sacrificing the education your child needs and deserves.

1. Use Tuition Assistance to Enhance Your Career at Virtually No Cost

Even in today's high-cost college environment, there is a way to get an excellent education and do it at virtually no cost. This path may take longer, but the thought of graduating from college with a stable full-time income and no debt whatsoever is undoubtedly an attractive one.

There is something to be said for entering the workforce right after high school, and a growing number of young people are considering this option. Many employers offer tuition assistance to even entry-level workers and going to college part time while working full time is more feasible than ever, thanks to the widespread availability of online learning and virtual college courses.

If you take this approach, you could graduate with marketable skills your current employer will appreciate, setting you up for future promotions and a higher salary. Best of all, the cost of that education could be negligible, putting you on a sound financial footing and helping you enjoy even greater success while your peers are struggling with college debt.

2. Take Advantage of Work/Study Opportunities

Working your way through school does not necessarily mean delivering pizzas on the weekend or tending bar in the evenings. Many colleges provide work/study opportunities for their students, giving young people the chance to earn a living while securing their future education.

Some of these work/study opportunities are limited a single field of education, while others are open to all. If you are looking for a way to avoid college loan debt, you owe it to yourself to check out these work/study opportunities and take advantage of them when you can.

3. Start with a Community College Education

Compared to the cost of a four-year college or university, the price of community college is a real bargain. More and more community colleges are offering courses specifically designed to give budget-conscious learners a head start on the education they need.

Taking your first year or two of education at a community college could save you a ton of money on tuition and room and board. Once you have a solid background in your course of study, you can transfer your community college credits to a four-year school and continue your education without incurring huge college loan debt.

The cost of college is going nowhere but up, but you do not have to succumb to all that debt. If you are willing to think outside the box and take an unorthodox path to higher education, in addition to seeking out and applying for niche scholarships such as the Jason Kulpa Wife Scholarship, you could escape the college loan trap and get a jump start on a great career.

About: The Jason Kulpa Wife Scholarship is just one of several investments Jason Kulpa has pledged to his community. Jason Kulpa founded San Diego based UE.co in 2008 after holding operations positions at a number of fast-growing Ad-Tech companies. Since becoming CEO, he has taken a hands-on approach to driving strategic partnerships and creating a company culture that promotes innovation and respect for high-level vision. Mr. Kulpa graduated from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

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Calming Music, And 9 Other Study Methods To Prepare College Students For Any Major Exam

When your week gets booked, there are simple ways to help get your mind in the zone.

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Making through the first two months of a new semester without breaking down might be considered an accomplishment for college students. If the homework assignments are not as difficult as you originally believed, there should be nothing to worry about. The one major thing that is still considered a pain among college students is exams. The one- or two-page quizzes or long midterms, upon discovering the exact date and time, will send any student into an emotional frenzy. These techniques will help students to overcome the challenges they will face during these terrifying days.

1. Go for a short walk an hour or two before you have a test

Exercise is a great way to distract the mind from stress and improve your memory. It helps if you are walking to get lunch or you are going to the library or another class with someone. Having a conversation with friends about their major and the exam you have that day is beneficial. Talking not only only keeps you focused, but you might learn something from your friends, and they could possibly have advice for you when it comes to preparing for exams.

2. Take frequent 10-minute breaks

When studying for an important test, it is crucial that you take a break after every 45 minutes to an hour of reading or writing something. Even if you are in a study group, leaving to get food, use the bathroom, or just standing up to stretch is good for your mind and body. Make sure the meals you eat are healthy to increase memory retention. Doing a quick 10-minute workout is another method to strengthen your mind.

3. Put on some calming music or perform other small tasks

While studying alone for a midterm or test, putting on soft music while you are reading will help you to stay calm during your study session. When taking a break, doing other activities like cleaning your dorm room, doing yoga, or meditation are other ways to keep your mind focused. Switching up your methods or moving to a place where you can study without any distractions is a priority to achieving success.

4. Watch a Netflix documentary related to the subject

Although television is a distraction from your studies, it might be useful to search on Netflix for an interesting documentary about the exam topic. This is especially great if you are majoring in business, health science, criminal justice, or history. You will hear about all the information related to your test within a few hours. Unlike a lecture, you can pause and leave to get a snack or go to the bathroom without missing anything. As a bonus, if you have to write an essay, you can mention the documentary and reference some facts and other useful information you learned.

5. Make flashcards

One of the best ways to help retain information fast is creating flashcards. Either buy the cards yourself or use a study app. Fill the cards with key terms, facts, essay topic ideas, famous quotes, math problems, or science formulas as something to review (or practice with friends) while studying for an exam.

6. Try making a mind map

If you are having difficulty organizing and summarizing ideas that you have for a topic you are studying, creating a mind map is a unique strategy. Mind maps can be created on paper or by using a computer. This is a simple way to understand material that will be on an exam. Include visuals, words, and ideas, which may help you to remember information.

7. Create a study schedule

During the weeks that students are having midterms, it is challenging trying to balance school and social life. One solution is to make a schedule dedicated to studying for your exams. Mark down on a calendar (or your phone) the times that you have free to study. Putting at least two hours of work a day to prepare for exams will increase your chances of success.

8. Find a secluded place for studying

Another great way to make sure you are retaining the information you are studying is finding a quiet and comfortable area for reading and writing. By relocating yourself to a location you feel relaxed in, the chances of doing better on exams will increase. Make sure that the place is clear of any distractions like televisions, electronic devices (unless you need to use a computer), and loud noises. Some of the best spots can be your dorm room or a reserved spot in the library.

9. Do practice exams

If you want to get in some extra practice for an exam, trying looking on websites or use apps that have quizzes related to your test. Find questions with multiple choice, true or false, short answer, or math problems. Checking your textbook for examples is another good option. This will prepare you for any possible questions that you might see on your exam.

10. Review exam material before going to sleep

When studying for an important exam, try to get some reading done around one or two hours before going to sleep each night. Reading over material or doing some practice questions before going to bed will help you retain information. This is a method known as sleep-learning, and it is effective for college students. While your body is recovering, the brain is processing information during sleep, which means that everything you learned will be stored in your long-term memory.

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