Since September 2017, the Writing and Communication Centre has been providing the space and materials for a quilt composed of student voices. Quilting is a metaphor for the community that we have here, as well as the writing process itself since both involve parts coming together to form a whole.
Some of the thought-provoking prompts suggested by staff include “What are your opinions/frustrations/joys about writing?” “How do you feel about writing today?” and “I like writing because…”
Students have provided awesome answers to these questions and have also come up with wonderful writing tips and reasons to write.
A big thanks to all those who have contributed to our Writing and Communication Quilt!
Here are five great writing tips by students:
1) One great reason for writing is self-care! Writing down good things that have happened to you will not only help you to remember them, it will also help you to recognize the positive things in your life that you have to be thankful for. Studies have shown that people who wrote down things they were thankful for were happier. While not a cure-all, this practice can help increase positivity. Each day, try writing down three things that you are thankful for!
2) In addition to writing down the good things, writing about the struggles you go through can also help you to get things out and to process them. Psychologists have dubbed this phenomenon the “Bridget Jones effect” after “brain scans on volunteers showed that putting feelings down on paper [reduced the] activity in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for controlling the intensity of our emotions” (Sample). I personally find that writing down how I’m feeling helps me to understand why I’m feeling a certain way, as well as to come up with solutions.
3) This enthusiastic student with elegant writing is right; writing is fun and it can also be used as a tool to increase recall and retention! You can use this tip to remember things you need to do or course content for upcoming tests. Even if you do forget something, it is written down, so you can return to it. Writing things down is also great when trying to recall things from your past. For instance, I recently found an old journal detailing the ‘trials’ I was going through when my parents were considering moving to an apartment with a hole in the balcony that I was convinced my cat would fall through. We never did move there and my cat never fell through a balcony hole (as far as I am aware). It reminded me of what I thought at the time and that things weren't as bad as I thought. It was also good for a laugh!
4) Writing can sometimes feel like a necessity. Try to make time for writing about the things you are passionate about. This may take the form of poetry, essays, short stories, novels, blogs, or diaries. You can also approach work and school assignments by keeping your interests and passions in mind. If you believe in the argument you are making or are passionate about the subject matter, it will show!
5) This is a wonderful reason to write! Not only can you write down the adventures that you experience, you can also invent your own stories and adventures. Writing can help you remember the past, dream up new experiences, understand who you are, and figure out who you want to be. When exploring, remember your notebook, as well as your compass!
Some other great reasons to write are to express yourself, to have a sense of freedom, and because we need more voices. We’d love to hear your voice! Come to the second floor of SCH and tell us what and why you write :)