I know I haven’t always been great in English and now since I’m in college, it makes me even more worried. Whenever I’m doing an assignment for English I always second guess myself. I just get so nervous in class and about the subject in general. Now I had a narrative rough draft essay due and I keep erasing whatever I write because I don’t feel like it “sounds right.” Or that it “is right.” I’m just feeling very unconfident in this course and I don’t know what to do.
I’m sorry you’re lacking confidence with this writing class, but sometimes feeling uncomfortable can lead to growth. It forces you to work harder, recognize what you need to improve, and take it one assignment at a time.
College classes are supposed to be harder and sometimes it’s nerve wracking and a little scary at times. But know you’re not the only one feeling that way. Maybe others don’t show their nerves, but trust me: they’re feeling the pressure too. The important thing is you’re facing this head on rather than giving up or avoiding it. Be proud of yourself just for taking that first step. Some never get that far. They let their fears hold them back. They shy away from difficult assignments/classes or blow them off rather than reaching out for help. As long as you work at this, you’re going to learn.
College isn’t about your GPA as much as it is about learning and improving. Use that to measure your success, which will probably help with your nerves and lack of confidence. Just like your peers, you too have stories worth sharing and ideas worth expressing. Writing classes help you learn and use specific techniques to help you communicate more effectively on paper. So don’t doubt your intellect. You simply need to put in the effort to understand and apply these skills, just like you learned how to read or drive a car. There are rules to follow, but you have the potential to do well and it’s waiting inside of you.
I don’t know what school you’re attending, but most have a tutoring center that’s free for students and many offer writing workshops. In these workshops, tutors help students at different stages in the writing process–from understanding an assignment and its format to revising a draft for clarity and conciseness. Some tutoring or writing centers require appointments while others have drop-in times, so be sure to check that out by looking on your college’s website, visiting the center or calling to ask. It’s free help (since the costs are covered in the fees you pay as a student), so you might as well take advantage of it.
Professors love when you come visit them during their office hours. It shows you really care about learning the material, that you are taking the initiative to get help, and that you want to make a connection with them rather than being a face in the crowd. I know it can be intimidating, but they really are people too. The more you push yourself to go to office hours for help, related books you could read, or something similar, the less scary it will be. I learned a lot by doing that and I’m actually still in touch with some of my professors. Many of them have amazing stories and a wealth of knowledge. Plus, they can write great letters of recommendation for jobs, internships, or even graduate school (way down the road, but good to know).
When you’re debating about asking for help, remind yourself that if you don’t ask for help, you’re missing out on an opportunity to improve. The worst kind of failure is when people fail to try. Mistakes can be learned from, helping you move forward, but inaction leaves you stuck in the same place. So have faith in your ability to improve and take that scary step of asking for the help you need. Before you know it, you’re confidence will be increasing with every improvement you make.