I used to love writing short stories in elementary school. I wrote stories about little girls who were superheroes, about alien colonies with funny names, about birthday parties. My fifth grade teacher was supportive of my imagination and told me I was a good writer. I believed her. A few years later when it felt like I was going through a middle school identity crisis and everyone around me had their “thing,” I decided to cling to my writing. That writing would be my “thing.”
Well, AP Lang has challenged this image of myself.
One of my strongest friendships was formed this year because I needed to cry with someone when my self-doubt as a writer reached a new time high. I’d stay up into the early morning finishing assignments that I dreaded to do and had pushed off until the night before. In one of our last timed essays in class, I only wrote three sentences in the entire period. My mind could no longer concentrate. I left the classroom with tears in my eyes. I didn’t feel like a good writer my fifth grade teacher had made me out to be. I felt incompetent, incapable, defeated many many times.
But it was my choice to take this class.
I chose this challenge. I chose to challenge my writing with the hopes to grow as a person and as a writer. I met many other challenges during my junior year that were out of my control, that I didn’t choose to face. These unfortunate events have made me appreciate choice and the adventures I can choose. I’m grateful that I chose AP Lang, and given the opportunity to redo junior year, I’d choose AP Lang again.
Through AP Lang, I’ve learned that writing is hard. I’ve learned how seriously I take my words. I’ve learned that peer editing is one of the greatest tools I could have, and that reading my words aloud actually does help.
I heard that junior year is one of the hardest years before I began the year. I thought that because I had already taken an AP class the previous year and do well in school, I’d be an exception to the stress and ickiness of junior year. I thought that since I’d done well in my other English classes and enjoyed writing, I wouldn’t struggle through AP Lang like everyone else.
I’ve learned that I’m not an exception.
What do I expect to do with all that I’ve learned this year? I think I’ll just have to wait and see.