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Oct 17, 2013

The difference between my first and second semester at JMU

Posted 10/17/2013 by Talat Altayyar

My first semester at JMU wasn’t an easy semester for me. As an international student who has English is his second language, it was really hard the shifted between being a student in an English school to an academic student at JMU. I was the kind of student who is just took notes and kept any questions that I wanted to ask in my mind in order to avoid saying it wrong or not clearly. I was very concern about my English, especially my writing, which was one of the hardest parts and the most uninteresting part for me. In the first semester, I wished that all the quizzes are just multiple choice, so I will avoid the writing. One day I just decided to improve my writing skills because as an academic student, writing is the one of the most important things that I have to not just know how to do, but to be perfect at. Writing in a university is more than just write papers or essays, but it also taking notes. Moreover, it’s very important as an academic student to know how to write good emails when I communicate with the professors. So, I found that the writing is really taking a big part in the university life and I have to start working on it.

I stared to improve my writing by many ways. First, I went to the multilingual writer’s community, where I can write whatever I want, share it with other students, and help each other to improve our writing skills. I also went to the writing center at JMU. By that time, I became interested in writing and wanted always to learn about how to be a better writer. When I finished my first semester, I was very surprises that when I chatted with people I started to chat in English all the time, which makes me felt that I really began to love the writing especially writing in English. So, when the second semester started and the time to decide which classes I should enroll in came, the first class that came to mind was a writing class. Thus, I enrolled the writing class and I really felt the improvement that happened to my writing skills. My writing is not too perfect, but is much better than what it was before. I also notice that I became not worried about quizzes or exams that required me to write sentences to answer the question or to fill in the blank, instead of just wanting to have multiple choice questions.

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