Growing up, I was never confident in my writing abilities. I didn’t think I was good. Poor grades on written assignments, lack of praise for good writing, and a sea of red marks on my papers seemed to all confirm that. Writing just wasn’t my strength and I came to terms with knowing my writing would always be mediocre.
In college, I dreaded the mandatory Freshman writing class. So much so, while the bulk of my peers were taking it during our first semester, I pushed it off until our second, in spring. But spring inevitably came and with it, my first writing assignment–an argumentative paper.
Though we had free reign to choose our own topic and “side” of the argument, that was and still is of no interest of me. I wrote my paper knowing I wasn’t going to be graded well.
I didn’t like writing + I wasn’t good at writing + I didn’t like the topic I was writing about = a recipe for failure.
But, when my graded paper was returned, I didn’t see the F I imaged I would get. Instead I saw an A+! However, I quickly explained my success away by assuming it was a pity grade that the entire class must have received.
At the end of the class period, my professor took me aside. She wanted to talk about my paper. She loved it! She told me that I was the best writer she had ever seen in one of her Freshman classes.
I was elated. I had never been praised for my writing and it felt amazing. It was the confidence and catalyst I needed to change my major from Biology to English and I never looked back. The confidence she instilled in me that day, is the reason I am here today, looking to nurture confidence in everyone!
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