My Struggle with Personal Writing “Personal writing is both the easiest kind of writing to do and the most difficult” (Rawlins, 212). For me, it’s actually one of them most difficult and frustrating types of writing. Throughout high school and now I have had to do personal writing and it was and still is very tough for me to do. I was beginning my most important year of high school. This year seemed as if there was so much to do and so little time. And in the end it kind of was. Deadlines were right around the corner and crucial to meet for this year, especially for college applications.
In my mind I had planned to apply to UC’s, Cal State’s, and maybe even some privates. It was a week into my senior year in Ganesha High School. Walking into my third period AVID class, right after our 10 minute nutrition break, everybody, rowdy and noisy, talked about what they had done that weekend or what they had seen at break. As usual I walked towards my seat and as usual it was a task. My school bag was hanging on my side and I had my breakfast box that was filled with a milk carton, an apple, and a packaged bread in my hand; I walked and tried not to trip over the carelessly left bags on the isle.
People stood up even after the bell had rung and the noise level was still high. I finally got to my seat; first row, first seat, right next to the teacher’s desk in which he had his computer. I put my bag down on the floor and put my breakfast box on top of my desk. The teacher, Mr. Mariles, came in and everybody took their seat, the noise level lowered distinctively. I turned over to face my friend who was sitting behind me. I whispered to her “Do you know what we’re doing in class today? ” she whispered back “I think we are working on our personal statement. I turned to face the front of the class, with a disgusted expression on my face. The teacher then started to explain what we were going to do that day.
He had a smile in his face and was making hand movements all over the place while he spoke about how this year was a big year and how that day we were going to begin to write out our personal statement for those college applications that required one. He explained, repeatedly, that our prompt for our personal statement was basically to write about what motivates us to go to college; something personal that made us realize that that was our reason to pursue higher education. Ugh! ” I said quietly under my breath while I laid my head down on the desk. We began our assignment. I sat closely at the edge of my seat, legs extended, leaning my upper body toward the table, pencil in my hand and a blank paper on top of my desk. I wrote one sentence, then scribbled it off, I wrote another sentence, and scribbled again. The teacher was right in front of me on his computer. My head was facing down towards my paper but my eyes were looking up onto Mr. Mariles’ screen; trying to read what he was looking at. He would turn around and my eyes would quickly transition back to my paper.
I looked around the class again. My heart started to beat faster and my body felt so uncomfortable all of a sudden. I kept biting my nails, taping my fingers and my feet. The tip of my pencil touched the paper and then I just began to write, not knowing what I was writing. I sat straight up on my desk and then leaned forward to lay my head on the table. I tried to position my eyes in order to look at my paper, and ended up in a very uncomfortable way, I slowly kept writing, ,my eyes would wander, thinking of what I should write next as if the answer was floating up in the air somewhere.
Time passed by so fast that before I knew it, it was time to turn it in. I had managed to write some type of story, it was about my little cousin and how he was in an accident in which changed his life forever, because it left him disabled. As I was writing about how close we were and how we grew up together, the knot in my throat was just getting bigger, of just thinking how he ended up. In my head this was a good enough reason that made me push myself into striving for college because I felt that since he wasn’t able to do anything that I could somehow live his life out with mine.
But I felt embarrassed to turn it in. Since I was first in my row, I had to collect my other classmates’ papers. As I collected their papers, I remember looking at the amount of writing they had done and compared it to mine and felt as if I had written nothing. My insecurity was high and so I put my paper at the bottom so the teacher wouldn’t see it first. The bell has rung and it was time for my next class. As I walked to my next class I kept thing of what I had written and the thoughts kept coming and then I would start thinking “Why didn’t I write about this instead of that? doubting the effectiveness of what I had turned in. I was scared of what my teacher was going to say. My heart was still beating fast but I could only wait to get my paper back and see what my teacher had to say about it. A few days later the teacher returned back our papers. He passed them back one by one. I was still very anxious about what my teacher had to say about my personal statement. I had felt that I knew why I had written that story but when I saw the feedback I got from my teacher it was clear that my paper didn’t really establish what I thought I had wanted it to.
He told me that it was okay but it didn’t seem so personal, that it seemed more as a story about my little cousin and not so much about me or on how that influenced me. I felt a little discouraged after hearing his feedback because I thought I had made my message clear and it didn’t turn out that way but I didn’t know how I could manage to do that but I wanted to try again. I ended up leaving that first personal statement as how it was and tried to write a whole new one with a different story, but the ideas in my head just weren’t expressing themselves clearly in my paper.
After a while I would struggle so much trying to start up a new one that the time had come to submit those college applications and I wasn’t able to because I felt discouraged that my first personal statement wasn’t good enough and my second one wasn’t even done. So I decided to not even bother because whatever I would have written probably wouldn’t have been good enough. I was a little sad that I wasn’t able to complete those applications but I wasn’t ready.
It has always been so hard for me to do personal writing and it should be easy since it’s about me but I just haven’t been able to do that type of writing confidently. Till this day I haven’t been able to do personal writing so greatly and I believe that that has affected my ability to do other kinds of writing as well. Writing this paper wasn’t the easiest and I struggled a lot to put all of my ideas together but hopefully with more experience this struggle becomes less of a struggle and more of a life learning experience.