Writing Woes

Today I woke up to a text message from a cool somebody that put a smile on my face and made me anxious to return to school to be reunited with said somebody in a sort of happy, huggy, [hopefully even] kissy homecoming.

And then I realized, WAIT. I move back into my little dorm room to start a brand new semester of classes in exactly one week. ONE! One, measly week! Screw my silly fantasies; I don’t know if I’m that anxious to go back to school.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss all my friends from school terribly. I miss the independence of living on my own and doing my own thing. And in a way I miss the structure the schedule of a school week provides. But I don’t miss the early mornings and late nights full of lots of homework and little sleep. I don’t miss the physical, emotional, and academic stress that inevitably comes with being a full-time college student. And I don’t miss not having quiet, private time and space for myself to do whatever I want, whether it be cry myself to sleep after a rough day or dance around my room in my underwear. I love my school and I love dorm life and I love my roommate, but despite this, when I’m on campus, I’m never truly alone which is something I like to have sometimes.

I’m also really nervous about the classes I’m taking this semester. I’ve been undeclared for the past year and a half of my college career, just taking GenEd’s that I neither love nor hate. What I did hate was the unknown and not having a plan for the next few years. After lots of internal stress and deliberation, I finally decided on a writing major within my university’s literature department. One of my short stories is being published in the top five submissions to our student literary journal which helped to give me confirmation for my decision. I also applied to go on a study abroad trip to London with the lit department next fall semester in which only a handful of students are selected to go. I was one of the few chosen and the professors in charge of the trip told me that I had one of the best, well-written application essay’s they’d ever received in their years of running the program.

Despite all this positive affirmation that I’m in the right place with what I’ve chosen to study, I can’t help but be extremely nervous. Writing is something that is very near and dear to my heart. It’s extremely personal to me. There are really only one or two people in my life who have the privilege to read the things I write. I never even used to tell people that writing was something I liked to do. It’s just very personal in a way I can’t explain. I’m equally parts thrilled and terrified that I’m being published and that my peers, student body, and even faculty and staff will be reading words I wrote, will see a secret hidden part of me that very few of seen.

I’m taking three writing classes next semester and one workshop. I’m worried that I don’t have what it takes. That I’m not good enough. That maybe I have raw talent but I’m light-years behind the level of my fellow classmates. I’m afraid of being criticized and ridiculed for my writing. I know those things need to happen so that I can grow as a writer, but its one of my biggest fears. I can’t even read the things I write aloud to my very closest friends, let alone look at them while they’re reading my words. I’m also afraid of the workload, that I’ll be drowned in essays and prompts and readings – all of which are much more time-consuming and challenging for me as I push myself to produce something I’m proud of. Lastly I’m afraid that I’ll start to hate it, that I’ll hate what I love to do because I’m forced to do it for school. Will I have time to keep up with this blog once school starts, or will I even want to as I’ll be writing three to four times more than I have been in the past year or so.

I think that this semester will be challenging for me. A challenge in a good way, but a challenge nonetheless. I have a bad habit of breaking down and wanting to give up when things get hard. If I can’t execute things to the level I’d like or can’t accomplish little things I think I should be capable of, I start to crumble. If one thing is going wrong, suddenly I think and feel like everything is going wrong. I know that I’m a strong person and a good student and a talented writer in my own way. I know I should be confident in myself and my abilities. But I’m still nervous.

My mom and a very dear family friend of mine told me the other night that the fact that I’m pursuing something I love  and it’s scaring the death out of me is a good thing. It means I’m on the right track and it’s where I’m where I’m supposed to be. After years of feeling lost and confused and not knowing what I wanted for myself and my future, I can only hope they’re right.

– Jade Alexandra

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