The other day I was cleaning my room, when I stumbled upon some notebooks. This first page was from my English class of senior year of high school. Our teacher gave the class a writing exercise with the question: Are you a writer? Upon reading this, I had forgotten how unbelievably self-conscious I was at writing: getting C’s and D’s on my essays and even failing a final at one point. Whenever I was assigned a paper, I would beg my brother to edit them, often times pressing him to just write everything for me. He would get so frustrated that I never took the time to practice writing or to learn from my mistakes, but I had already given up on myself.
A few months later into my senior year, Feb. 1st, my brother passed away. I no longer had him to lean on, just his advice. I was finally forced to write on my own, to actually develop my own thoughts, and to find my own voice in writing style. My only motivation was to make my brother proud.
In May, I saw that Seventeen Magazine was recruiting upcoming college freshmen for their latest ‘Freshman 15’ blogging panel. I applied, submitting an article on how I wanted my next boyfriend to break up with me and deemed my application hopeless. That August and about one year later from writing this exercise, I received the e-mail that out of over 6,000 applicants from across the nation that Seventeen wanted ME to be one of their ‘Freshman 15’ panelists!
Never give up on yourself. Just try harder.
I have days when I still wish I could have told my brother this news in person. But I realized that he already knew I was capable of writing great things, even if it wasn’t some philosophical essay. I want to tell him how thankful I am of his criticism, and that I now understand that was how he showed me love.
Click HERE to check out my work published on Seventeen.com!
ALL THE FEELS