Dear Future Gateway Students,
Welcome to Writing 220! It will be quite a journey, but hopefully you will be able to look back on your time and finished product fondly at the end.
My biggest takeaways from this course is the necessity of not just writing well, but writing often. I think the two really go hand-in-hand. After a long summer of not really writing, it is easy to have fallen into a slump where the words no longer come to you as easily and you sit and stare in front of your paper for awhile and wonder what to do next. This course had a LOT of assignments, oftentimes being due between 2 and 4 times a week. Not only is this a lot of constant writing, but it is a constant reminder of the importance to keep doing small writing assignments to keep your brain active and thinking. I really do think that this constant writing has helped get me back into the flow of writing that I had previously lost from years of taking non-writing based classes.
I feel like I was most challenged in sharing my work with my peers. As a perfectionist, it is hard for me to let something go to share with others before it is in what I consider to be its best state. As there were so many small assignments and constant sharing and feedback with the members of our blog group, I was not able to make everything that I wrote a completely polished piece with tons of revision and thought put into it, and it was frightening for some assignments to know that people were reading and reflecting on something I had done that had not yet reached its full potential. As I have been having more practice with writing as I mentioned above, it also became easier for my thoughts to come to me faster in the way that I want them to, and so it became easier to write on the fly. Still working on that perfectionism thing though. TBD.
What surprised me most about the course I think was how much I found that I liked blogging. I had never really tried it much before, the only time I had being for another class where we blogged with a response to something we had read. In that class though, it didn’t feel like I could be personal like I could with this blog, and it was always fun to search for memes online that I thought were fitting for my topic. I’m considering doing something similar just for myself personally, maybe not even publishing it but just having this online presence that I can return to. Perhaps I can make it a part of my ePortfolio and keep it updated.
The practical advice that I have for incoming minor students is to relax. Relax if your writing isn’t perfect, or you don’t know what your final project is going to be, or you are overwhelmed by how much has to go into the ePortfolio. Just relax. It’s going to be fine; just breathe.
If I was starting the course all over again, I think I would have more fun with my blog posts. I would try to make them sillier and funnier and just let myself laugh at the things that I had to say. I would also make keeping up with the assignments in this course more of a priority. This semester with all of my other work and classes it was hard at times to keep up with the workload and I found myself submitting assignments last minute and not being as pleased as I could be with the quality of my work. If I were to do it all again, I would force myself to make time.
This class has made me excited for what the rest of the minor will bring. I took a class last semester that counts towards this minor, but I didn’t get the full picture of what my experience would entail until I took this class. I love that this class has pushed me to create an ePortfolio showcasing me, and giving me something that I can continue to work on and be proud of. Hopefully you will too by the end of your gateway course.
Best of luck,