Personal blog: why you need to start one this summer
About two summers back I decided to start my own blog. I actually remember the day well. It was a breezy summer afternoon and I was walking home from the library trying not to fumble the pyramid of books and movies I had checked out. My curiosity had gotten the best of me, and I ended up with what was sure to be the makings of a culture filled week. At the time I was enjoying the break between my junior and senior year of college, which is why I frequented the library to stay sharp; something you’ll learn is necessary (want some more tips? READ: “5 Things to do Before Your Go Away to College“).
I was reminiscing on all the movies I had watched that year, I studied film theory for my English minor, and feared I would start losing track. Once I got home I dumped the books and started a blog. For the most part, it was meant to be a diary of the films I had watched. Since then it’s turned into an incubator for all my creative endeavors. It’s even opened some doors for me, which I’m grateful for. In other words, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Summer is meant for fun, but it’s also a time to catch up academically, as well as to strengthen areas such as reading and writing (our private Irvine tutors are here to help with any subject). You’ll have plenty of time to go to the beach, just make sure you commit a few hours a week to keeping it updated. Once you do start a blog, don’t let writer’s block be an excuse. Odds are you’ll have some days where the ideas flow and others where you think, “I could be watching TV” just don’t let the latter stop you from posting. Convinced? Here are five great reasons why students should blog.
5. Research papers won’t be as difficult
Ask any student if he or she would prefer a test over a long research paper and odds are they’ll say yes. Tests can rely heavily on memorization, and sometimes your score doesn’t meet your potential, thanks to anxiety and stress. Papers, on the other hand, are in your control; you even get the chance to edit them. So why do students still groan whenever a paper is due? My best guess is because their writing skills are lacking, and it’s difficult for them to arrange the words to flow the way they sound in their heads.
I hate to say it, but one English class a semester isn’t enough writing practice to become competent and produce work at a collegiate level. Want more bad news? You’re going to want to be writing at a collegiate level once you graduate from high school (professors won’t accept excuses at that point). Don’t fret, you can always blog to put in the extra hours that are lacking from your formal education. Along with an in-home English tutor, writing at your own leisure will help you develop grammar and sentence structure skills. Just like a sport, writing takes practice.
4. You’ll learn social media etiquette and responsibility
Though it’s common knowledge that you must be careful what you put online, you still hear these tragic stories of students being bullied on the internet, or a someone saying something he or she didn’t really mean. Despite the intentions or context, everyone must face the repercussions of a mean tweet. What’s the best way to avoid this? Don’t do it! If you’re feeling frustrated, write about it in your drafts, give it a day, then reread it. In the morning ask yourself, “do I still feel that way? Most likely you won’t, and you’ll be glad it was a draft and not a tweet. The internet is not an open diary. To put it another way, you need to turn on the same filter you use on when you’re talking in public places.
Unlike twitter and Facebook, blog posts take time and editing. Further, You’ll have time to ask yourself, “is this how I really feel?” or “will this post hurt someone’s feelings?” before making the decision to publish it. My suggestion is to keep your blog focused on something other than yourself. Trust me, people will learn a lot more about you through the recipes you share and the book reviews you write than a 500 word rant on the teacher you dislike.
3. A blog will help show the world who you are
I’m a bit introverted and shy, so I often feel people aren’t getting the best impression of who I really am. That being said, ever since I started blogging I’ve had many friends and family approach me and say, “I didn’t know you like this or that” and would seem excited, as if they were meeting me again for the first time. It’s your blog, so be YOU. If you like botany, log on and write away about botany. Don’t just write what you think people want to read, because odds are they’ve already read it.
Lately, I keep hearing about “self branding” and how blogs are part of the mix. It’s a little silly for an adolescence to worry about, but creating a respectable online presence will definitely help you in the future, which leads me to my next reason.
2. A personal blog will get you into college
Okay, so I exaggerated a bit. You still need to do well in school and balance extracurricular activities (READ: “how to balance sports and academics“), but that doesn’t mean a blog won’t help. Most students are told to filter their tweets and keep their Facebook profiles private because admissions offices will often check. This is great advice, but why not give them something positive to remember? Get the admissions office talking with your well written blog about science.
1. You’ll make new friends with similar interests
Very few of my close friends are as invested in classic movies as I am, which is fine since they’re great people, but it’s still refreshing to talk to someone who shares similar passions. It won’t happen over night, but the more you post on a subject, the more likely someone who shares your interest will come along and interact. It’s an excellent way to learn new things about something you’re passionate about. Who knows, maybe someone important will read your blog. That’s what’s exciting about it, you never know what will come of it. Just make sure what you write is true and thoughtful.
Happy blogging, Orange County, and remember to take what you learn back to school in the fall by suggesting a class blog.
All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at [email protected] for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.
Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.