By Allison Wallis
Writing can be a conundrum. At least, it is for me. As a student, I’m told to do my best, write in my own voice, include a variety of sources, make an argument, and make a statement. How can I juggle all of this? Isn’t that a lot to ask for a 21 year old whose life experiences are still minimal?
Even now, I’m struggling to write this. I can’t seem to get any sort of important or noteworthy thought to run through my brain and onto paper.
What even is my own voice as a writer? I’m not creative in any way, nor do I feel like I have some sort of “uniqueness” that sets me apart. Sure, I understand the basics of grammar, how to structure a sentence, and how to properly organize a paper. But what sort of ideas do I have to offer?
I think that a lot of times students feel the way I do right now, trying to write just a little blog post. We think, “I have nothing to say” or “I’m just not good at this sort of thing” and we frustrate ourselves to the point of giving up.
This past week, the writing tutors talked about an article titled “I Just Wanna Be Average.” The author remembered a time when he was mistakenly placed in a remedial school, and one of his classmates uttered that statement to his teacher, “I just wanna be average…” And in a way, I feel the same. A lot of times, I think students feel so much pressure to excel that they lose the motivation to even try, because they think they’re incapable. I’ve done that before. I know I’m not the greatest writer in the world, and at times it can be so frustrating when I fail that later I just decide not to try.
But failure is okay. It’s not the end of the world. Learning is a growing process, and there will always be areas of improvement. Being “average” is nothing to be ashamed of, but don’t let yourself become complacent. On the other hand, remember not to let the pressure or expectation of being the best interfere with your motivation to continually grow in the learning process.
It’s okay to be stuck. But always keep trying.