Friday, December 7, 2012

Write Your Troubles Away

            A common occurrence throughout my college career has been the dreaded essay test.  This is a concept that strikes fear into the heart of every student, and it actually can introduce a negative connotation to writing itself, for some.  Many people write in college, whether it is in the form of essays, short answers, or something similarly torturous, largely because they have to.  These students often limit their writing to hastily thrown-together essays done in the early hours of the morning.  It is viewed as a chore and a necessary evil to pass certain classes.  What is lost in these kinds of routine writings is the potential for catharsis and enjoyment that writing can bring.
            Many students, such as myself, are in majors like sciences and engineering, which involve an extremely technical writing style.  There is no room for flowery detail and colorful prose.  These students typically produce papers that have facts and findings straightforwardly presented in a logical, clear, and concise manner.  Writing such as this is extremely important, and, as a biology major, I can certainly attest to this fact.  This type of writing, however, is really all the exposure science majors have to writing, unless they take steps to make writing a stress-relieving aspect of their daily routine.

Students who are somewhat disillusioned with writing can take several different approaches to making writing an integral part of their relaxation. There is nothing quite like sitting down after a long, frustrating day and simply writing in a diary or journal to get some frustrations out of one’s system.  It is a harmless, fulfilling, and productive way to work through difficult or confusing situations.  Seeing one’s thoughts written on a piece of papers gives them substance and meaning.  Also, college is all about diversifying one’s surroundings, so a great idea to break up the monotony of technical writing is to take a creative writing course.  These types of courses require a different outlook than the clinical one used in the sciences.  Utilizing varied aspects of one’s brain helps widen perspective, and this is very beneficial in all parts of life.  If all else fails, and creative writing doesn’t seem like a good fit, merge some of your interests together.  I took a literature survey class once and was stuck on what to write about.  Instead of writing some generic paper analyzing the themes of the literature, I wrote a comparison of Thomas Jefferson’s editing of the Constitution to the proofreading that occurs during DNA synthesis.  It was very fun to write, and my professor loved it.

Writing doesn’t always have to be a chore, despite college’s best efforts at times.  Utilize it to your advantage as Finals Week rolls around.  If you are frustrated about something, write about it.  DNA synthesis and Thomas Jefferson aside, you never know what kinds of epiphanies you will have!

Good luck with finals!

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