by Erin Gilpatrick, Student Consultant, University Writing Center
Walking into the room for the first time, I feel nervous, anxious, and have a false preconception of what the Writing Center was really about. First greeted by the person at the desk, then by the consultant, I take a seat wanting them just to proof read my paper because I am worried that my paper isn’t “good” enough and is going to get torn apart, but the consultant has another idea in mind: not just build a better paper, but a better writer. Some students may think of the Writing Center only as a proofreading service like I did but, in reality, it is so much more than that.
I have always been the kind of person who has great difficulty asking for help with my assignments, especially with writing. So, getting help on my essay from a total stranger was very uncomfortable for me at first. Once I saw how beneficial it was, I utilized this resource many times for various papers such as application essays and class assignments. With the help from the Writing Center, I started to think critically and developed a better understanding of academic writing. I was actually becoming the type of writer that I have always dreamed of being. Seeing the improvements in my own writing inspired me to become a consultant myself so that I too could help fellow writers find their full potential.
Some students don’t even know about the Writing Center and the ones who do, don’t use it often or even at all. They are passing up an opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their future writing endeavors. Some students are apprehensive about coming to the Writing Center because they think that they will be criticized and the consultant will rip the paper apart, but that is not the reality of the appointment. The consultant will work with you to improve the troublesome areas in the paper and set you on a course of critical thinking to enhance your academic writings.
So looking back on my first experience at the Writing Center, the scariest part of it all was just walking through the door.