I left high school for the most part, enjoying my four-year English class experience.
Ok, so maybe essay writing wasn’t my favourite form of writing, but I learned to recognize it’s importance in the academic world.
We were taught to write an engaging introduction that builds towards a clear thesis, to include body paragraphs that allowed a series of logical and coherent arguments to unfold from said thesis, to embed quotes as evidence and have a conclusion which makes some final observations and summarizes key points. Sure, the method was a little systematic and monotonous at times, but it was fair and made sense to me that these were important elements that I should carry into my post-secondary studies.
Besides, English class wasn’t all about essay writing-and I think that’s what kept me a little sane. I was fortunate enough to be in a supportive classroom setting that embraced creativity and harboured thought-provoking discussion.
Being in the pre-AP English class at my school meant I was with the same classmates for a majority of my high school English career. It was inspiring for me to get to work with such passionate kids. I admired their writing styles and ability to articulate their thoughts so well. Plus, since we knew one another for so long, I was comforted by the familiarity of their presence. I felt safe in English class because I knew I had a close-knit community of people whom were not just my peers, but my friends.
I had engaging and lively teachers that helped me see why the English language can be so beautiful. I looked at literary works in a whole different light than I had ever seen them before. I was intrigued by analysis, especially in novel studies as we dug deep into symbolism, themes and how a story can profoundly speak about the human condition. But what I loved even more, was applying these interpretations into other forms of creative expression. Isn’t it just amazing how the world of visual art and literature can harmoniously go hand in hand? I had so much fun with projects like making comics based on Greek mythology, illustrating poems and re-imagining Shakespeare’s plays into modern short movies.
That being said, there has always been this negative outlook that overshadows me. Even though I genuinely enjoyed English class, I looked at good marks not as a good job, but rather because of good luck. I’m constantly second guessing myself and often question my abilities. It is for this reason that the idea that I’m now in university is such a scary thought. I find my classes, such as ENGL109 to be nerve wracking. Many doubts and fears run through my head like how will I adjust to a new environment, when I held so tightly to the security blanket I called my high school English class or, how I’ll measure in terms of knowledge and skill compared to all the bright and ambitious students in my class.
To be quite honest, I don’t think I’ve found a solution to my lack of self-confidence yet. All I know for now is that I’ll try my best when approaching assignments and continue my quest to improve as a writer by keeping an open mind and embracing challenges . Until now, I’ve never been vocal about my problem nor did I really look it in the eye and question it. It has always just been a part of my life and I simply accepted that. But the process of writing this blog post feels a little cathartic. Assignments like blogging and the personal narrative seem to not just be about writing, but about looking into ourselves. Maybe English class will be more than just about conventional writing, but part of a journey for me to not only grow as a writer, but as a person.