Editorial Notebook

The Polytechnic has taught me to face my fears

Improving writing skills, learning from failures through journalism

If you asked any of my high school friends what clubs I would have joined in college, I am 99 percent sure they would have never guessed the school newspaper. I hated writing, and when I had to write my college essays, I had three friends and two teachers proofread them. It involved a lot of red ink. During the last part of high school, I was counting down the days until “I never have to write an essay again.” Ironically, I joined The Polytechnic a week into college, and have been writing more than I ever did in high school. 

What caused such a change in mood for me? The first reason was the registration process; it disappointed me, and my poor parents had to listen to me constantly complain. One thing they repeated when I was complaining is never just complain, do something. This stuck with me. When I got to campus and saw that I could join The Polytechnic, I thought that writing articles would be the best “something.” I can share my opinions and maybe contribute to a bigger change. The other reason is there are important events happening at this school, and I know it’s essential to spread knowledge about them. Both of these reasons gave me the passion to overcome my hatred and fear of writing. I’ve started to write to write, and I haven’t looked back. 

If someone asked me if I were a writer, my answer would be “No, I’m becoming a writer.” I feel like I’m still discovering my voice and need to improve my grammar. By joining The Polytechnic, I am improving though these skills. I know if I continue to improve, I will feel confident in saying that I am a writer. When I first came to The Polytechnic, I was afraid of writing bad articles, but I knew I would eventually face that fear. When I wrote my first article, the red pen scared me; I didn’t want to see my errors. As I learned more about the writing process, I realized that I should love it, because it shows how I can improve. Do I still worry that my articles will be terrible? Definitely. But that’s not a bad thing. It makes me work hard. 

Don’t be afraid to try something new, or something that you think you are not good at. If you have the passion to stick with it, you will improve. Just don’t be afraid of the red pen in whatever you do. Failure is the best way to learn as long, as you try and understand why you failed. Just because you are bad at something now doesn’t mean that you are destined to be bad at it.