Fix it

Previously on WhatWouldWesleyDo: Pop culture overpowers society’s real issues

I’ve realized why I haven’t been enjoying life… I’m not being me.

Not in the sense that I’m faking life or doing things I don’t want to do, but I’m truly not making time for doing things I enjoy or doing things that make me happy.

For example, I’m a very clean person, always have been. If you’ve been to my habitat lately you’d know that’s not the case. I had been sitting around blaming time constraints, people being in my apartment and being too tired to clean, but at the end of the day, I just didn’t DO anything. If I saw a mess, I’d let it sit and wait for someone else to take care of it, and that’s not my style. Video evidence:

^^^^OK maybe I’m not that bad, but I do get bothered by stuff. (And LOL at the huge black guy)

Another thing is I like to work alone and at my own pace… not because I can’t work with people, but I just operate differently and it’s always best for me to do my thing, bring it into the group and call it a day, rather than work with people at the same time.

I could keep giving examples, but this is getting overly emo and I feel like I’m blogging like Kid Cudi so I’ll let this guy do the talking.

^^^^That’s emo, but true. (Except this kid is hilariously contradictory and a punk, but oh well.)

So here’s my column. It’s a little out of order according to when it was published, but I think it fits better… I’ll give  you the next oldest column later on in the week.

Enjoyment should always be top goal

Column Wesley Robinson

While sitting up late last Thursday waiting for the H1N1 effects to wear off, I dove head first into my search for a summer internship.

One particular internship, only hours away from deadline, held the attention of the front of my frantic mind, while the other part of the night’s search served as productive time while shut in the house. As a result of the swine flu shutting me out of class, work, the Kernel and everything else I normally do, I had to perform a last-minute sickly search for the columns I would feel confident shipping off as representation for my potential as a writer.

Lately, I haven’t been a big fan of my writing and am generally glad just to have a column done, but the experience of reviewing my writing and reflecting on the work as a whole was interesting one, from which I walked away with a great deal of learning.

For one, it’s so much easier to write columns when I have the opportunity to talk to people and experience what’s really happening on campus. I would much rather spend my day being able to just be a student — talking to peers, dropping in on friends and sitting in common areas. Instead, I shuffle from work to class to the Kernel, back to work and back to class, with meetings sprinkled in on my non-Kernel days.

The time to observe and passively participate is gone and my writing has suffered. There isn’t that sense of pride from telling a story or shedding light on an issue — it’s pretty much just meeting deadline and doing my job.

Another thing I noticed, which goes hand in hand with my first observation, was how much I used to enjoy writing. The biggest smile hit my face when I read a few of my columns from fall 2008. And it wasn’t because people told me they enjoyed them. Some of the columns surrounding Barack Obama’s bid for president, my experience with Ramadan, a column about the true holiday spirit and a few others gave me a pleasurable, nostalgic feeling of contentment about what I was doing.

I felt like I told unique stories, or at least told the same story from a different perspective — most likely a function of being able to absorb all that campus has to offer instead of just being tied down to a job.

I did notice that I need to get considerably better if I plan on making this journalism thing a career. Sentence structure, organization, proofreading and a few other aspects of writing aren’t always a staple of my columns.
I mean, it’s bad when you can’t even understand what you were trying to say several months after the fact. OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but as with any other writer, I am not above improving in one area or another, I just happen to have a lot to work on.

Lastly, I picked up on how the desire for writing comes and goes. The entire time I have been a Kernel columnist, I have been slotted as a weekly contributor, but me writing a column every week is like Kanye West using his platform to humbly make a measured statement or ESPN not taking every possible opportunity to tell you why Brett Favre is great, why they love him and why you should, too.

Save a few three-to-four week spots when I was so passionate about a specific issue, I couldn’t help but write, I have had trouble finding motivation and inspiration to crank out 600-plus words in a cohesive, coherent thought.

I’d like to commit right now to writing regularly, but I’d rather take the Alex Rodriguez approach and pleasantly surprise you with consistent, quality columns.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been getting e-mails from an increasing number of Journalism 101 students, all of which are trying to get published per Buck Ryan’s syllabus. Not only am I pleased to have the services of an army of young, enthusiastic writers willing to help us fill out the page, I am happy to see that younger peers have the desire to write, to tell a story and to provide the commentary that makes life worth living.

As rewarding as starting a discussion can be and as beneficial to getting pieces published for your grades can be, I want to warn against burn out. Not in the sense of getting into something and being stuck and not being able to get out, but getting stuck in a position and forgetting why you are there and what makes that position enjoyable for you.

Over the summer, I spent my day sitting at a desk. It’s the same job I’ve had for a while, but I had to stay at a desk. I hated it. Not because of the work, the people or the situation, but because I wasn’t free, I couldn’t be me. But when school started and I was able to resume my normal part-time schedule, I rekindled the relative love with my job.

And it’s the same thing with writing. I wasn’t able to help put out a paper for a week, and I just didn’t feel right. Sure, it takes up a lot of my time and ensures that I don’t get to bum around campus, but it gives me time to do something that I enjoy, where I can leave a small imprint on the university.

That was a very roundabout way of saying: take ahold of your life, figure out what it is you enjoy, why you enjoy it and do it. No greater disservice can be done to yourself than self constraint and doing things out of duty and not desire.

Read the Kernel!


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