Writing: going by the wayside?



There is an ethical and moral distinction between a diary and a journal.

A diary is covered in pink taffeta with a heart shaped lock keeping its 9-year-old secrets from the prying eyes of 7-year-old brothers.

A diary is the essence of petty problems and frivolous dreams.

A journal is home to slightly less frivolous dreams.

I started keeping a journal in sixth grade, around the time most girls discard theirs in the wastebasket, proudly proclaiming they are much too grown up for that childish pastime.

Such statements make me cringe inside. There is nothing childish about writing; in fact, writing daily is encouraged to keep mental strength, maintain writing abilities and detangle the mess of thoughts that cloud the minds of busy adults.

What does it mean when those that need to be documenting their days the most are the ones who are made to feel such endeavors are for children?

For college students, developing a habit of writing is pivotal. The habits created, or not created, in these crucial four years will form the adults we become.

For many college students, their major is not writing intensive. College for most is the sweet freedom from the clutches of essays and creative writing.

Hair is smugly flipped as students announce they are on to real academic rigor, leaving that pointless writing stuff in the box of things not important enough to bring to college.

Writing is not a second-class citizen, and there is nothing unacademic about keeping the most fundamental part of your intelligence sharp.

Too many extremely intelligent students have a writing ability much lower than their capability. This is not due to innate talent, but simply a lack of practice.

Somehow writing, which was once considered one of the most rigorous and prestigious skills one could obtain, has now been treated as something you have to get out of the way freshman year with the rest of your pointless requirements.

Writing is not just for English majors.

Buy a journal, gosh dang it.

Write something in it everyday. Write what happened. Rant about the professor who has it out for you. Write about the song you just listened to; write why you liked it.

Being able to formulate words and articulate feelings is a skill you will need for the rest of your life.

Go to Wal-Mart, buy a leather bound stack of paper and promptly correct anyone who dares to call your journal a diary.