When a student begins high school they are typically told one key piece of advice regarding their next 4-5 years at that institution, “A teacher can make or break a subject for you.” I whole heartedly believe this tidbit of advice to be true. Sadly, I believe every student has encountered this, myself included. Upon entering high school, english was my favourite subject but by my senior year…I dreaded coming into class.
During my high school career I had the “pleasure” of attending 5 separate educational institutions. It was difficult on my enthusiasm for english because each school and teacher had their own opinions and ways of running a classroom. As the years dwindled by it eroded my love for english. I am filled with somewhat “traumatizing” memories of my high school English class experience. I can think back to my freshman year where my English teacher would literally scream at her students for using incorrect tense. Let’s just say I got screamed at a lot, in the end I somewhat mastered the usage of proper “tense” in my daily writing. One rather uncomfortable memory I hold is when my teacher would make us write reports about very personal details of our lives and he would get very angry a.k.a red pen happy if we did not genuinely express our feelings. One benefit of having this teacher was that I now know and use great number of adjectives. Still, I would never want to write such personal and/or controversial details with a teacher I’ve only known for 3 days. And finally, the most depressing teacher of them all, my final English teacher was content if we just showed up to class. He would drone on about books and literary procedures without any of the zest or passion that my other teachers would displayed. By that point, my enthusiasm for English had become greatly diminished.
I connect with the above image because it accurately describes my emotional rollercoaster with English. I still haven’t reached the end of the ride. I feel as if the my continuous moves and dysfunctional teachers I’ve had created doubts within my confidence of being able to excel at University level English.
So here I am, my first year at St. Jerome’s University with my anxiety pipe ready to burst! I feel completely flooded with dread,fear and uncertainty about my potential ability to excel in English 109 or even any course using academic English(pretty much every course) in the future. I do know it’s a completely irrational fear, yet again, anxiety itself is typically irrational. The first step is recognizing it though- isn’t it?
Luckily for me I’ve made friends with a great number of people on my floor and around campus who are English majors(yay) and even those who are not! These people have offered to be my academic support system for this new chapter of my life. I feel truly blessed that within the first couple weeks I’ve joined a group of people who are so supportive of one another that I know that I will have a successful university career(not just in english!)