The Writing Center: Every Step of the Way
Kevin Bailey, Consultant
The spring semester is drawing to a close. Tensions are high, schedules are full, and it seems like there’s no way on earth that all the work that needs to get done will ever get done (at least not on time). Of course, it will get done, though; it always gets done. And when it does get done, there’s a feeling of exhaustion, followed by a moment of relief, and then, within a matter of days, an overwhelming sense of – “What now?”
And the answer to that question is different for all of us. Perhaps you’re finishing your first year of college and making plans to take more difficult coursework next semester. Or perhaps you’re jumping straight into summer classes. Maybe this is your final semester before graduation and you’re preparing to enter the job market. Or maybe you (like me) are gearing up to teach for the first time in the fall. These are all big and potentially scary changes.
It can be daunting to consider all the work that lies ahead. No matter what stage of your academic career (or life) you’re in, new obstacles are always going to stand in your way and new responsibilities are inevitably going to take up your time. And I can’t in good conscience recommend you put these things out of your mind. It’s important to plan. It’s important to look ahead and approach your “What now?” with confidence.
The point I’m making, I think, is that even though your workload may increase and you’ll take on larger projects, you will always be able to adapt to new challenges, especially when resources like the Writing Center are around to help you along the way. One of the many mantras I’ve memorized from my time tutoring over the past year has been: “We’re here to help with any writing project at every stage of the writing process.” This phrase is usually applied to the standard college essay, and by it we tutors often mean we can help regardless of how much of said essay has been written. We help to brainstorm topics for papers that have not yet been started as readily as we discuss strategies for revision on papers that are mostly finished. But this same mantra can be slightly repurposed to say “We’re here to help with every step of your writing career,” and it would remain equally true to the Writing Center’s purpose.
The Writing Center can help in a big way with every one of those “What now?” scenarios I mentioned earlier. If you have a summer project you want to work on, the Writing Center is open for consultations during the summer. If you’re entering the workforce or applying for positions, you can set up an appointment to construct or review your CV, resume, or personal statements. If you’re teaching next semester, you can bring in and receive feedback on your syllabi and lesson plans (something I’m already making plans to do).
No matter what’s next for you, you’ll be writing. And no matter what you’re writing, the Writing Center can help.