The blank screen with the taunting black cursor blinks back at you almost telling you that to give up. I know this feeling on a very personal level. One of the more iconic moments of this was when I had to write my college essay. I had procrastinated it for weeks and had entered crunch time. One day after lacrosse practice I had to sit down and actually take a crack at it. So I did my normal post practice ritual of shower and eat because we all know were hungry and smell terrible after a long practice. Once I had finally finished filling my needs of food and a shower, I sat down to get the essay done. After spending hours getting frustrated at the computer screen then it finally hit like a brick wall. When I was on the edge of throwing my hands up and saying “forget it I’ll just become the manager of McDonalds who needs college”. The words flowed on to the screen and I started working my way to finish the essay.
Growing up I was always the struggling child with writing and reading. I would have to go to the classes that would give you extra help. It wasn’t until about middle school that I finally started performing as a writer. Writing would still frustrate me to no end. It wasn’t till high school that it got really bad. I would sit at the computer for hours on end just staring at a blank screen. I would push essays off to the last minute because it would frustrate me so much that I wouldn’t even want to finish it. A big part of my frustration would be how many writing rules there are and how you have to follow them so closely. Also, that we were taught that you have to follow a very precise structure.
Writing hasn’t ever been my strong suit; to fill that gap, I was always a huge reader. When I was growing up my parents were both always reading and once I could finally start reading and understanding books. I would feel like such a big kid. After reading the essay Superman and Me the author mentions, “My father loved to read therefore I did as well”. This statement really hit home because I really got into reading because of the same reason. The older I got the more I realized that I would spend more time then more with my nose in a good book then holding and Xbox controller. My reading preferences haven’t really changed since I’ve grown up. I was always interested in fiction books. The way that they take you to another place and give up time away from your life. With reading I never really felt that frustration that I would experience when I would be writing an essay.
My writing wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of two teachers that really changed my life. In third grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Smith, her husband happened to be the principal of the school they were the power couple. This woman was the one that built my foundation for writing. Once I had moved on from third grade she followed our class till about sixth grade helping us behind the scene pull off essays. The next teacher who really changed the way I wrote was my freshman and sophomore English teacher. He was a prematurely balding 27 year old guy, who if he took his glasses off he would go cross-eyed. In all his goofiness aside he was the type of teacher that always believed that you could produce great things no matter how terrible the first draft of your essay is. Mr. Jones was his name he was the hardest grader, if you gave him an essay you were automatically expected to get a C back on it. In the moment it would be the most frustrating feeling in the entire world because you didn’t think that it was ever helping you. In the end by using perseverance and working through the class it made me a stronger writer. In reality, when someone asks if I truly enjoy writing I always look at them as if they were crazy. Writing to me is an obligation that I don’t want to do. The demand for essays, lab reports, and field studies make writing feel like a job that you don’t want to do.
The only time that I got the sense of reward from my writing was on my college essay. After tireless hours of writing, editing, revising it was such a reward to get into the colleges that I applied to. I guess you could say that I wouldn’t be sitting on this beautiful little campus without writing.