When I was applying to colleges my senior year of high school my boss told me to take a writing class when I got into undergrad. His advice went in one ear and out the other. when I was assigned my first research paper as a freshman I wrote the first draft – all five pages – in one sitting, confident that it was perfection. When I handed in the draft to my peer leader, he gave it 2 points out 6. My confidence was gone. I took that paper to a Writing Consultant in the Learning Commons (LC) to revise it. The final draft i handed in was given a 97%. Needless to say I was pretty excited, not just because I had a better paper, but because my trip to the LC made me a better writer.
Being so impressed by the help I received and considering myself to be a word nerd, I applied to be a writing consultant at the end of sophomore year. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I got the job. I get the joy of helping my peers grow as students and writers, giving them the tools to hone their skills while I do the same. It makes me feel as though I’ve come full circle: starting Allegheny as someone in need of help and now being someone who offers it.
The students at Allegheny are some of the brightest I’ve ever met, though we need some help sometimes. My first paper wasn’t the first time I was saved by the learning commons, nor was it the last. I’ve taken full advantage of the calculus, physics, biology, and chemistry tutoring services run by the LC and many of my friends do the same. The LC isn’t just for struggling students and the people who go aren’t stupid. It’s for students and perfectionists like me who are always trying to do better. The one thing we all have in common is that we’re learning and I’m greatful that the learning commons has my back.