The benefits of writing assignments

Emily Doran

During high school, I had plenty of opportunities to write. I composed English and history papers for my classes, fiction for fun and various other documents for work and volunteer positions.

Here at Grand Valley, however, my writing opportunities have increased significantly, as have the types of documents which I am requested to produce. I have already written several academic papers, blog posts, a speech, and, of course, columns for work.

While many students in similar positions may groan (both inwardly and, no doubt, audibly) at the prospect of completing so many writing projects, I find this particular kind of workload beneficial and enjoyable for many reasons.

First, I am honing a craft which I intend to use for the rest of my life. While I may be undecided about which specific career path I intend to follow, I at least know that I would like to work in a field that requires plenty of writing. As a result, I realize that I am gaining valuable experience by composing so many pieces about a variety of subjects. Regardless of the path I eventually follow after graduating, I will no doubt have obtained relevant writing practice.

In addition, I am, simply put, a writing nerd. While most students probably dread paper assignments, I typically relish the opportunity to create something beautiful (hopefully). I view writing as an artistic endeavor so, naturally, my key purposes are to produce and inspire beauty and communicate a message.

In my case, I find that writing is the perfect outlet for fulfilling these goals because I am not gifted in the areas most traditionally considered artistic, nor am I particularly talented in the art of speaking eloquently. Writing, then, is my greatest opportunity to effectively create and communicate.

There are, of course, times when I am frustrated and overwhelmed by the amount of writing assignments I have to complete. This is certainly not because I dislike writing; on the contrary, sometimes I just don’t know how I will manage to complete it all. Indeed, having too much of anything to do can be overwhelming, regardless of how satisfying I find the particular project.

On that note, I do find writing to be incredibly satisfying. There’s nothing quite like handing in a paper of your own invention, filled with your own ideas and created through your own unique manipulation of language. This is why I find essays both more satisfying and, in some ways, challenging than preparing for a test. Instead of memorizing already-established material, I myself have to create the material which my professor will then critique.

With that in mind, I am thankful for the numerous writing opportunities that I have here at Grand Valley. I have no doubt that I will grow as a writer, improving my skills and indulging my inner nerd.