Writing has always been a constant in my life: my one true source of calm. From an early age, I dreamed of becoming an author. Energetic stories tumbled through my head as I scratched whispers of poems and fragments of novels into the countless notebooks scattered throughout my bedroom. Stemming from my childhood years, I have fond memories of my parents tucking me into bed at night and creating endless stories with me. In those moments, the story was all mine. My parents dreamed up fantastical adventures for me to explore, filled with possibility and confidence. The power of language captivated me then, and it does so to an even greater extent today.
As I grew older, my need for language developed. Writing became a safe haven, a protective shield for my complicating view of the world. Writing became a necessity. Throughout my time at school, I have embraced my need for clarity and precision. It is through writing that I am fully at ease.
Writing has always allowed me to take a step back and come to terms with elements of my day that are difficult to digest. It gives me an opportunity to put my thoughts into concrete ideas, especially when I cannot fully articulate them verbally.
Every week, I send a handwritten letter to one of my oldest childhood friends. Three days later, she receives it in the mail at her university. Our weekly letters serve as a living journal of our friendship and a comforting reminder that there is always someone ready to listen. Sending letters transports me to the days of the Bennet sisters, anxiously awaiting a note from Netherfield – the excitement of having to wait for a letter makes the message even more memorable.
Writing reminds me that there is always time to slow down and accept the pace of the postal service. With every letter I write, I allow myself silence – a chance to step back from my overflowing schedule and clear my head. Having this outlet to write grants me a space free of all judgment and a true blank page that is willing to soak in my unique perspective. Writing connects my Colgate present with my Buffalo past; it bridges hundreds of miles.
I embrace every letter I send and receive with a sense of sincerity. Not only do we share the thoughts that trouble us, but we also write about our accomplishments and hopes for the future. We share stories of the last Bob Ross episode we watched, the last song we listened to, our plans for summer. Writing allows us a platform to embrace possibility, beyond anything a simple text can achieve. A handwritten note exudes a sense of vulnerability and honesty. Sending letters is therapeutic for me – the paper is there to listen. Writing and rewriting brings internal clarity to my ever-tumultuous mind.
Like so many college students embracing Colgate’s universal unofficial motto, “work hard, play hard,” I spend my days shuffling from one activity to the next, enjoying my time, but also often forgetting to stop and breathe. I find myself surrounded by passionate students that inspire me to learn as much as I can and to pursue all that interests me. When subject to the crucible that is Colgate’s social and academic environment, I often feel overwhelmed. I begin to lose the clarity that comes with slowing down and processing. In an effort to embrace my own self-care, I remember to write. I write because it fills me with confidence. It fills me with possibility again. The story is all mine.