What is the one thing college students hate doing the most — writing!
We write essays, papers, documents, labs, etc. and professors still can’t get enough of it! But they aren’t wrong. Writing is a valuable skill to have, especially in our digital and remote world. As we are moving towards a (hopefully) post-COVID world, more companies will allow people to work remotely, which will require transparent communication. If you are a good writer, you can quickly send emails that not only sound professional but look good (Design 101).
So how can YOU (ie a college student) get better at writing? Create a blog! I’m not saying to go all-out and create a personal website (although it is quite fun and useful). Rather, write on topics that interest you and put your ideas down on paper (AKA the internet). It could be a personal blog or even a simple Medium post (like this one). Here are 5 reasons why YOU should create a blog (or something of the sort).
1. Articulating Your Ideas
As we become a more globalized community, it is going to be increasingly vital to articulate your thoughts and opinions to various audiences. More likely than not, you will have to communicate with your boss or employees on the job, and if you cannot clearly explain the project goals and action items, well… good-bye, paycheck! But if you can explain what you want to achieve in the project and have concrete action steps to build upon it… hello, pay raise! 💸 Think about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk. They have amazing visions in mind, but to articulate that vision is much harder. When you write more on topics and ideas you are interested in, you understand how to evolve your thoughts into coherent sentences for your audience to understand.
2. Audience Adaptation
Which leads into the second point: audience adaptation. There is no such thing as “one size fits all.” When you communicate with others (whether it be through writing, video or audio), you have to adapt to whom you’re talking to. If you had to teach how to use an iPhone to your 80-year-old grandma the same way you talk to your friends, she would be more clueless than before. (No cap! 😂) Writing a blog not only helps articulate your ideas or interests, but also gears your writing towards a specific audience. Are you writing about your experience playing Call-of-Duty? Then gear your content towards 15–22-year-old males. Are you writing about (insert a boy band that teenage girls love)? Then gear your content towards 16- 21-year-old females. Whatever the content may be, find the demographic you want to cater to and be cautious of that when writing your posts.
3. Builds Creativity
(If you got this far, thank you!) Creativity is a huge bonas when writing blogs. You not only have the option to add in images (and gifs), but you also have the opportunity to get spicy 🔥 in your writing. Test out different writing styles and find what works for you. I like to add inside comments by using parenthesis. You may want to keep your writing more formal if it is geared towards that audience. You need to first hook the readers into your post and be able to keep their attention under any circumstance. Creativity can also help in a professional setting. (No, I don’t mean making your emails spicy) Many times, you will either be faced with or given a situation where you will have to think outside of the box. By working on writing creatively and basic design theory, you build your creativity skills and see how one thing can be done in ten different ways. So be creative in your writing (just not too creative)!
4. Growth Mindset
You have an opportunity to share your thoughts with the world! The point isn’t to go viral (if so, then head over to TikTok). The idea is to create a piece that you value and learn more about. More often than not, blog posts have some amount of research done either prior or while writing. You not only share your thoughts and ideas, but also learn about other’s opinions. In a professional setting, you will have people who may disagree with your decision. However, it is vital that you have the ability to listen 👂 to those whom you may disagree with and understand their point of view. This basic skill of empathy and respect is somehow becoming lost in our increasing need for speed for information. By writing and researching, you allow yourself to develop a growth mindset of ever-lasting learning and synthesizing information.
5. It’s Fun!
Face it… who wouldn’t love talking about their favorite topic? It could be serious — activism, politics, social injustice — or fun — sports, entertainment, gossip. You could choose a popular topic or one that is much more niche. You could build your own website or use a platform, like Medium. It’s completely up to you! 🤟 Blogging (or any other creative medium) is a form of expression and is an extension of your thought process. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. You don’t even have to post your blog. The more practice you get, the better of a writer and communicator you will be.
So go out there and start your blog (or vlog) (or podcast) (or literally anything else!) (But preferably a blog) Who knows, maybe you will be the next big blogger. But much greater than that is the valuable skills that you will get simply by writing about things you are passionate about. Start writing! ✍️