It’s hard to believe that our first term of University has come to an end. I spent so much time worrying about how different University life would be from high school, but the truth is, it wasn’t that much different at all. Sure, it’s a new environment and new people, but we’ve all made the transition from elementary school to high school, why were we so worried about the change from high school to University? I think that if we’ve learned anything from high school and this first term of university, it’s that movies are completely false portrayals of secondary, and post secondary school. English 109 especially felt like it was the most comparable thing to high school, since we were back in a class room with a smaller amount of people. This class started to feel like home, plus, the class was literally 20 steps from my residence, so it technically was home.
I didn’t know what to expect when I first walk through the doors to English 109, but I soon realized that it was a safe place with caring people, and a very down to earth professor. I was ecstatic to know that I would get to practice my writing skills and most of all, improve. I felt confident in my writing coming out of high school, but I was worried that it wouldn’t be enough for University. I knew my essays could use some improvement, and as much as I was worried I wouldn’t get good marks in the class, I was happy in knowing that I could potentially improve. You see, I always had a hard time making paragraphs. It’s not that they were too short or anything, It was that they were too long. I had no idea how to condense my ideas into one short paragraph, because to me, every single word was relevant and important. I had heard from previous teachers many times that my structure needed work. Apart from this, however, I knew my writing was strong when it came to my informal, as I had written many blog posts and short stories in the past, and had a very dear relationship with my life long, pink, and stereotypical diary. When English 109 started up and the essays were assigned and the due dates started rolling in, I found myself becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes, If you haven’t written anything in a while, it’s easy to become rusty and then you find writers block smacking you straight in the face. This first term of University is where I came to realize that writing more than one draft is probably just as important as brushing your teeth every morning. If you don’t get all your “shitty” ideas out, then the rest of your writing for that assignment probably won’t be that great. That’s why, honestly, it’s so important to put in some time and just write.
This brings me to the advice I would give to any new student entering their first year of University. The most important thing to be aware of is that it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s the point, I mean, you learn from your mistakes, right? Mistakes teach you lessons and help you become better for the future. My advice would be even if you have no flipping idea what to write about, just write anything at all, even if it’s just “I have no idea what I’m doing right now but I’m supposed to write something about . . .” believe me, it helps, and it sure is better than procrastinating. Once you have some words down on the paper, it’ll become easier to get more out and before you know it, you’ll have a plan or a “shitty first draft” (yay!) This brings me to my next point, which is simply; keep on writing. No matter what you write, it doesn’t matter, because practice makes perfect. Write as often as you can, about anything at all. I have found this to be so helpful with writers block, because after a while, it becomes easier to pull ideas out of your head and place them on paper. It’s also nice to write for yourself sometimes and not for some school assignment, because let’s be honest, those research papers can become quite the drag. The most important thing to remember, though, is that writing is art. Don’t look at it as a punishment, because having the ability to communicate any idea at all and have people read your work. The last piece of advice I can give, is despite what you are asked to write, whether it’s a research paper or a blog post, never lose your creativity.