How Reading and Writing Changed My Life Forever

As I write this, I think back to several years ago when I dreaded writing. English as a whole was always a fickle subject for me. It mostly was because I didn’t really care for reading boring articles, analyzing grammar, and whatever else it involves. I am also a firm believer that a teacher can strongly shape your opinion on a subject and when their opinion is not great, it can throw you way off.

It was seventh grade that changed my life. It was a very hard year for me for many reasons. I was struggling a lot in school and in my personal life with my mental state. Until that point, I had never really struggled in school and with my perfectionist attitude. I was spiraling out of control.

In seventh grade, I had an English teacher that changed my life. It may have been the way she approached writing, but I remember her complimenting my writing for a paper and encouraging me to write more for myself. She also introduced me to new books to read. At the time, I was so bored and tired in my own life that I gave it a try. I found writing to be a gratifying and freeing form of self-expression. I would write stories with characters resembling my own life. I would channel my frustration and sadness into poems and short stories that freed my heart from this tight coil it had been in. I had never known that something could feel so good. Reading also helped expand my mind. I would read countless books, learn words to expand my vocabulary, and push my mind to the furthest it could go.

As a shy person, I used to feel nervous about telling people about my love for reading and writing. People my age had much more fun playing sports, watching TV, or hanging out with friends. I was so introverted that those activities just never appealed to me, and the idea of writing a nice story or reading a good book in my room seemed like a reward after a stressful week. Reading and writing took my mind out of the harsh gutter it was in and gave me a freedom of self-expression like no other.

To this day, I still commit to reading 2 to 3 books a month and writing whenever I can. One of the things I love about writing for Her Campus is that it allows me to keep my mind going. While I’m not necessarily writing short stories or poems, I am writing about things I want to read about or that keep me interested, which is just as good.

I don’t see myself becoming an author or see writing as my end goal, however, it will always be an important part of me. My words are the ways in which I express myself and allow myself to be free. Losing myself in book worlds has always been my safe haven and brings me to the safest places in my mind. For as long as I live, I want reading and writing to stay in my life, tie me back, and ground me to my happy place, a place that saved a 12-year-old girl all that time ago.

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How Reading and Writing Changed My Life Forever