My Journey With WSP

I remember my interview like it was yesterday. When the interview was over, I sat on the couches in 105 and I felt like I blew it; then I saw Layhannara. I looked at her and thanked her for the challenge and she said that I had done a good job. I felt a bit better but a couple of days later when I received the congratulations email I couldn’t believe it. I majored in English because I really enjoy reading, but I was scared of the writing part. Our first staff meeting really made me think about how I was not prepared for the job. I felt that if I was not confident with my writing then how could I teach others how to empower their voices through writing. A couple of sessions in and I noticed that students were feeling the same way as I was, but the difference was that I had the tools to make them feel more confident. Through our methodology which took me some time to figure out, I was able to question and challenge students through their writing.  As a Writing and Creativity Counselor, I felt that the first step that I took in order for students to feel more confident about their writing was getting to know them a little and make them feel comfortable. Then, I would ask them what their biggest challenges were with writing. When they opened up to me, I told them how I too felt the same way. They looked at me like you’re a writing counselor, but I would tell them that I was also working on improving my writing with them. The more I facilitated workshops, held sessions and opened up to my team about my concerns and challenges, the more I felt that I was becoming more confident and a better counselor. Blogging was one of the ways in which my writing confidence increased as well. Every time, I would write a blog I would have my sister look over it and she’d say, “it’s fine dude, you’re overthinking it”. I just felt that I wanted it to be perfect and I was scared that others would think my writing was bad. Now I know that it is okay to let go and have an audience read my words. I am no longer scared because I know that I am still working on my writing skills. I would tell future WCC’s that WSP is a unique space where they shouldn’t feel scared to ask questions, I always asked questions. I would also tell them that I felt that I didn’t want to open up as much in the beginning because our team was small and our staff meetings touched on personal matters, but it is something I wish I had done more. I did open up and it took time, but the trust that I developed with our team has made me grow. One last thing, would be to appreciate the space and the staff because everyone truly cares about how you will grow academically, professionally and as a person. I have a lot of WSP favorite experiences one was when we went to the Annenberg Space for Photography art exhibit: “Generation Wealth” and we discussed our favorite photograph. I remember us being really open about how we felt about a certain piece and it made me think about how all of us have similarities. I also really enjoyed our karaoke night in the lounge because I learned a lot about my coworkers. For example, what kind of songs Pegah liked to sing or how good Kent was at singing along to Nicki Minaj. Helping high school students write their personal statements was another one of my favorite experiences. We helped students from different outreach projects such as PIER and SHAPE. I enjoyed this experience because one day, I hope to share the knowledge I’ve gained in higher education with students from communities that remind me of my own. I want to thank Layhannara, Gaby, Haesoo, Monica, Pegah, Kent and Julia one last time, for being there for me especially when I shared my work with y’all and for making this opportunity an incredible one for me.

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