The assignment that was given to the class, was to write a personal narrative, that had a focus on a collegiate experience or subculture, before or after arriving on The University of Michigan campus. Within this personal narrative, we were to set up a detailed scene and also reflect upon the event you choose to talk about in the narrative. To help the class with this assignment, we had to do ‘stop time’ exercise, which includes closing our eyes and envisioning a scene of an event. While, reflection is important, we had to first focus on the imagery of the scene to make the reader feel like they actually were there. Scenes could also include dialogue, which strengthen the understanding. I chose to write about my experience going to seek help for my anxiety at Counseling and Psychological Services, or CAPS, at The University of Michigan.
The Biggest challenge I had was giving the reader a 360 view, and my fear of giving too many details of the image and not much content of what actually happened. For privacy reasons I didn’t put too much detail as to what was said in my consultation, after feedback, I decided to add some more details about what was said at the consultation, without giving away any very personal statements, so that it could give my paper some ‘meat and potatoes’. Going through this experience of writing a personal narrative, taught me that its called personal for a reason, and that I have to open up more.
During our peer edits, the one thing that my peers said was that my scene was great and very detailed. They felt like they were actually in the scene, which was what I was aiming for. In the peer edits they also suggested to add what actually happened in my consultation, to add more plot and content. I felt that was good advice, which I took and revised my paper with. One thing I think that readers will not catch at first, is that my detailing of the scene is part of the action and goes along with my experience because when I was in CAPS I was observing the space around me, which is what I always do when I enter a new room, so that I can familiarize myself with it to calm my anxiety. My detailing of the scene, is part of my observance, which is a tactic that I use to calm my anxiety, to which, anxiety is the whole reason I wrote this paper, and it goes along well with my experience of getting professional help for my anxiety, through CAPS.