Writing Communities

1-writingIt pains me to think that some people finish their education and never read another book. Words have woven themselves so deeply into my life. If I stopped reading and writing I wouldn’t be myself anymore. It would be like reincarnation.I don’t know who I would become.

Lately, I’ve been telling myself this quote a lot: “Dream big, work hard, stay focused, and surround yourself with good people.” Right now my classmates and I share a common goal to work hard and focus on becoming better writers. A community like this should never be taken for granted. It should be appreciated completely.

Pretty soon, I will graduate from high school, and perhaps, I will never see some of these amazing people again. My creative writing class has become a family. Writing reveals such intimate, personal parts of ourselves, and over the past four years, my classmates have come to understand, accept and love each other. It takes a lot to create a community as strong as the one we currently have.

It’s strange to think where we’ll all be ten years from now. Which of us will stay writers? Which of us will get married, have kids, or live somewhere other than Jacksonville?

Maybe our decisions will not only surprise others, but ourselves. I’m such a calender, plan oriented person. Maybe I will make a decision and forget who I am. Maybe the person I will become will be better than the person I am now.

I can’t believe that all of the years of learning, workshopping, and critiquing are almost over at Douglas Anderson.Whoever the members of my class become, we will always know each other within the experiences of our pasts.

I can’t ignore the power of having other writers in my life. People influence each other. I want to stay connected with other writers. Being with other writers creates an even stronger desire to create an art with words.

I will forever try finding other writers to connect with. The power of a writing community creates incredible bonds and paves pathways for improvement.

In the future, the worst thing that could happen to me is that I would wake up one morning and realize I never pursued my passion.

My life is all about the people I surround myself with. Graduation, the summer, and the start of college will really test me. Staying connected sounds like a good plan, but people drift, and meeting new people and making connections takes a leap of courage.

For right now, I’m going to appreciate every moment I have with this writing community. We’re all different and come from different areas of Jacksonville but we cam together for one thing. The love and support a group of strangers can create when they come together is powerful. I can’t say thank you enough for my experiences here at Douglas Anderson with my teachers and peers, who have become my writing family.

-Kat Roland, Art Editor

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New Beginnings

IMG_0891This year, being a senior the phrase “New Beginnings” brings a certain series of images to my mind. That is, moving boxes and masking tape, college acceptance letters, graduation, moving out, and moving on. All the talk of universities, plans for apartments, and big cities makes me break out in hives internally and makes me think a little less of myself because I don’t know if I want any of that.

While I see all of my friends buying cute towels for their dorms and anxiously going to the mailbox every day I always ask myself if I am doing the right thing. Is it ok that I don’t have a desire to move away? Or go to a university just nearly four months after I’ve graduated? Is it normal that I am very much content living at home and going to community college for the first two years? I ask myself these questions almost once a day and sometimes those questions feel like they eat me alive. And when anyone asks me where I am going to school next year is it ok that I’m almost ashamed to say? These questions are ones that I only know the answer to. And there is no right or wrong ones. And I have learned that over the last few weeks.

I have learned not to compare myself to others as much even though it’s a true struggle. I have learned that everyone has different goals and different plans. And most importantly, I have learned that my choices cannot be made just to live up to the standards of others. So instead I have decided to hustle hard, think good thoughts, and be a goal digger.

And as my friends may sit in a campus library across the country, I can only hope that I won’t regret the decisions I have made.

-Madison George, Social Media Editor