It's always a little hard writing the first post on a blog or social media site. I suppose it's my self-conscious and somewhat self-absorbed nature which causes me to be a bit introverted and awkward, both in life and online. The thought of someone reading what I've written or listening to what I've said fills me with terror -- what are they going to think of me? How will this affect their opinion of me? Did I make a grammatical error? Did I stutter? Does my mouth look weird when I talk? Do I come off as being (unjustifiably) pretentious? These are all the thoughts that go through my head any time I have to introduce myself.
But it's better to just bite the bullet and get my intro out of the way.
My name is Caitlin Woods. I'm a secondary education and English major. I grew up in Tulsa, and I'm really interested in history, philosophy, and language.
Like most kids in my generation, growing up I was always told I was "above average", "special", and "bright". Of course, as a kid I was always encouraged by this. I had fairly high confidence throughout most of grade school, and I adored the attention placed on me for being "so smart" and "mature for my age". However, once I hit the 5th grade I started to doubt myself. I cracked under the pressure that the words "above average" and "bright" placed on me. Instead of pressuring me to do well, those expectations that adults placed on me caused me to slack off. Being "bright" meant I never had to study or do my homework!
Once I reached high school, I had already labeled myself a slacker. "I'm smart, but I'm just not motivated" is what I said to myself. I let my lack of motivation define me, and I didn't do much to change that about myself. I figured I could get through high school without doing anything hard, and that was fine by me. Since I was so "bright", everything came easily and I would never have to work at anything. I wouldn't say I was happy at that time, but life was easy. Thankfully, the high school I went to had inspiring teachers who didn't use the words "bright" or "above average" to single students out. We were all students there to learn and to prepare ourselves for the world beyond general education. My formerly decadent spirit was set aflame with a new passion I hadn't felt since the first grade, and I enjoyed learning again! In high school, I wasn't motivated at all to get good grades -- I was motivated to learn.
Since then, I've made my passion for learning a part of myself. I like to think that I've matured a lot since even my junior and senior years of high school, and especially since my middle school days. I'm still committed to enriching myself and working to be a better, more motivated, and more satisfied person. I've discovered a lot since my slacker days: education isn't meant to grade whether or not you're "bright", but rather it is meant to teach you all that you don't know, and to motivate you to better yourself -- both for your sake and for the sake of those around you. That's why I've decided to pursue the field of education; to help more people discover a passion for learning in their day-to-day lives.
I hope this wasn't too lengthy, but I don't want to stick to the regular "I'm Caitlin, I'm 20 years old, I like dogs" kind of introduction. Not that I think there's anything wrong with that kind of introduction -- I don't think I get much of myself across that way.