I don’t like writing. I don’t like it because the word writing associates with creative writing. But writing is actually a lot more than that – it can be something as minor as a text message, a letter or a research paper at school. Writing is a part of every language, no matter if it’s conveyed through pictures, letters or hieroglyphs.

My first language is Estonian, but for the last four and a half years I have been speaking and writing in English every day. Learning a language is time consuming, but it is an activity that is creative. I love learning different languages because it gives me the opportunity to learn about different people and their culture. Being more fluent in English and knowledgeable about the American culture were the reasons why I decided to study English at Florida Atlantic University.

Writing papers and essays at school has always been a torture for me, but I have done it more here than during high school and my undergraduate studies in Estonia. I haven’t really figured out if it’s because I wasn’t good at it in high school or it’s the whole process of sitting down and trying to make sense of my thoughts, but the ironic part of it is that I’m doing a lot better with my essays now that I’m writing in English. Even though I have struggled with the process of writing all my papers, I am glad I got the chance to write them because it has improved my language skills. I believe that these years in the States and all the writing has made me confident enough to succeed in my future career.

Besides writing because I have to, I also write because I want to. I write in Estonian because I want to keep my identity as an Estonian. It is a way of putting my thoughts down on paper, so I can make sense of who I am and what I want to achieve in my life. My culture is a big part of me and I don’t want to lose it while living abroad. I write to my family and friends because it is the easiest way of keeping in touch and feeling close to them. I love sending postcards to them. They are mostly cards with birthday greetings, but I also have a tradition of sending a postcard to my mom from every new state or country I visit. On these cards I write all my adventures and feelings about the new places, so my mom can experience everything with me. Writing erases all the miles between me and my home.

I write because I want to know how a language works, but I also write in order to make sense of my thoughts in my head and to communicate these thoughts to other people. It is a way of holding onto my identity as an Estonian, but also my life in the United States that has given me so many different opportunities to experience creativity.