Senior Roadtrip: Orlando

Around sophomore year, Erika brought up going to the Magical World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL. At long last, the two of us made it work out. I am here to present the full account of the adventures. But first: Introductions. Everyone, Erika. Erika, everyone. Erika is a senior English major (lit concentration), which means she is awesome.

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Mourning a Moment

I do love to travel. I do love new places, new experiences. I can’t imagine living in one place for more than five years. But sometimes having the whole world as your home sucks.

Over winter break, there has been a gaping hole in the house: My dog, Rosey, who we put to sleep in July. I left right after she was buried. I’ve spent a lot of time at home loving on Melly (my sister’s dog), a lot of time playing with her to help heal how much I miss my dog. But I knew before I left for my last semester at Berry I needed to go visit the spot Rosey was buried Continue reading

When Life is Full of Rejections and Not Enough Tea

I spent about four months on an essay about prejudice, Afghanistan, healing, history, and peace. When I say I put my heart into it, I don’t just mean I wrote over seven drafts. I mean I descended into the pit. I read accounts that left me sobbing. I searched my memory and poked into sections of my life that are still raw, that I still don’t totally understand. And I wrote, and cried, and drank tea, and curled up in my chadar, and revised, revised, revised.

I submitted this piece to a contest and crossed my fingers. Today I found out I didn’t even get an honorable mention.

For a second, I was surprised. Then came the other side: “Why should you be surprised, loser? You’ve never gotten published in anything but college magazines.” Which is true, but sort of a lousy thing to think.

Being an unpublished writer sucks because it’s a balance act between pride and despair. On one side, I freely admit I do think my essay was better than the honorable mention about childbirth in America. I’ve got pride in my work. I still think it’s good.

On the other side, I think it’s no surprise at all that my work has been rejected. I’ll never be good enough. I’ll never have my own voice. I’m just the sidekick Hufflepuff who’ll sit on the sidelines and wave a flag while other people save the world. Huzzah.

The reason I’m writing this at 12:15 AM isn’t to blow a horn and announce my mental state, or boo-woo over not getting a prize that was a long shot anyway. It’s to remind myself, and other writers like me, of why the balance act is a lie.

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