Preface: This is essentially a free-write where I drone on about my “evolution” as a writer, which I’m going to work on for my final essay.
I came into college freshman year Hell-bent on becoming the next Erin Andrews. Looking back at it, I might want to stop saying she was my role model because she shot herself in the foot career-wise. But that’s beside the bigger point here, which is that I wanted to be a sports broadcaster in the worst way. I thought it was so appealing to be on television talking about sports 24/7, but then I found out that it wasn’t all I had chalked it up to be.
After a year and a half chasing that dead-end dream, I decided to switch gears. The greater majority of women in my family are/were in the education field, so naturally I thought about teaching. The only bad part about this idea is that I have about as much patience as a hungry lion standing by an unarmed zookeeper- AKA, not a whole lot.
Finally in the fall of my junior year, I was thinking about writing for a magazine. I write for two publications on campus, so it felt natural to continue this progression after I graduate. Except I have fallen victim to what the kids call “burning out.” Now I am a year away from graduation, writing editorial pieces is growing old, and I haven’t the foggiest idea of where to direct my life.
All that I’m trying to say with this is that my evolution as a college student has been pretty normal. I’m 21 years old and I still have no clue what I want to do when I grow up. All I honestly know is that I’ve been writing throughout this entire journey, for whatever that’s worth.
That sounds rather blazé, but it’s true. These past few semesters I’ve been trying to figure out the importance of having my writing by my side, and working on my minor in writing has only emphasized this more. It’s odd because I’m not quite sure where I sit with writing. Hearing my classmates talk about writing novels or screenplays in their free time makes me feel inadequate, but I think that might be the beauty of writing— it has different meanings for everyone. For me, it’s just something I do, like it’s an extension of myself. I never try to be extremely formal when I write, because, like, what’s the fun in that? Maybe that’s the wrong way of saying that; I just include my personality in everything I write. For instance, I’ve never been one to write a boring introduction, there always has to be a cultural reference or a witty remark (at least it’s witty in my mind).
That being said, writing on this blog all semester has really allowed me to do me (YOLO). The way I see it, there is only so much of your own voice that you can put into an article about a Michigan athlete (a lot of what I write for the yearbook). While it is fun to try to find a new angle to cover a story, nothing really compares to just being completely me in my writing, which I can do in a blog. I feel like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music when she is singing “The Hills are Alive” and dancing in the field of flowers, except I would be having a severe allergic reaction to nature if that were the literal case.
After writing this, I’ve realized I don’t really like calling the past couple of years my “evolution as a writer.” I don’t think that’s the right term. It probably doesn’t sit well with me because I just think of humans evolving from monkeys…thanks Charles Darwin. I just don’t think it’s analogous with my situation. I haven’t really changed, transformed, or become this supreme writer, and I think “evolution” signifies coming from the bare minimum. Instead, I like to think of my life as a map-less road trip where my writing is my only fuel. I don’t really have a final destination in mind, but when I make it there, I’ll be home.