I finished my application for the English Teaching Major!!! Scream and cheer ladies and gents ’cause it’s probably the most complex application for a major ever- I don’t think applying for BYU was nearly as hard. Nope there was less writing and no video. In the process of writing one of the essays, I ended up talking about learning how to write and thought I’d share, especially since I had to edit a lot of it out of the essay for length.
I came to BYU, a bright-eyed eighteen-year-old, with a Dining Plus card, an underused laptop, and an English major. I signed up for Honors 150 eager to sink my teeth into the college class that would prepare me to enter my discipline. Throwing myself into the first paper, a personal narrative, I felt like I really captured my chosen experience in those eight pages and did some soul-searching self-analysis to boot. I had even written the paper days before hand, revised it twice, AND had several classmates look over it for me. This was the formula for success, or so I thought. It turns out; this was the formula for mediocrity (which is what a B looks like to a high school valedictorian).
This became the pattern for the next couple of papers I turned it. Intense writing, the likes of which I had never engaged in before, followed up by severe disappointment. But it wasn’t the lower-than-expected-grades that were so frustrating—it was the fact that my teacher was looking for something in my writing that no matter how hard I tried, even after writing lectures, and one-on-one writing conferences, I couldn’t give her. It felt like everyone else in the class, even the non-English majors got it, and I didn’t. And I didn’t know what else I could do.
I started looking at other majors, convinced that because I just wasn’t a writer I couldn’t major in English despite my love for literature. But there was one problem with that—I have a very difficult time leaving things undone. It would have been one thing if I realized that I didn’t like literature as much as I thought I did, or liked something better, but the option I had proposed was defeat in disguise and so I decided to take English 251 the following semester. Eventually it came, not in a mere matter of months, but it came. Now I actually enjoy writing, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the painful process. A process that is by no means over.
P.S. I’m not sure who bought the LIFE cereal, but I was dead coming home after finishing my application, a very hungry dead person I might add, and I love life cereal more than a lot of types of food that should logically taste better. So thank you roommate or heavenly messenger that delivered them. They were much appreciated.