By Alison Waller || Contributing Writer

First-year Alison Waller. Photo Courtesy of the subject.

When I was a kid, I used to sleepover at my grandparents’ house. I’ve never been the greatest at sleeping in, especially in a foreign bedroom. I loved my grandparents’ house, but I literally could not sleep the entire night. 

After laying in bed counting every single crack in the ceiling until my eyes ached, I would wander around the house. It wasn’t a big house by any means, but it was always outrageously beautiful. Every clock would read a different variation of 4:30. The microwave would say 4:31, grandfather clock would say 4:32, television box would say 4:30, but the oven was always blatantly wrong and would say something like 2:27. 

I stumble downstairs into my grandfather’s (whom I call “Pip”) office. To my dismay, Pip would be sitting in there with one light on and an old notebook. Unphased by my entrance, he continues to write. I waddle my young legs up to his desk, confused. “What are you doing, Pip?” I ask. He responds saying some incoherent old person thing that was far too advanced and far too deep for my elementary school brain to even begin to comprehend. Noticing the blank look on my face, he mellows out his dialogue and says, “One day, you’ll love to write.” 

I blew that off immediately. 

Wow, I was stupid. 

Ever since then, I have slowly gained the urge to write. In late elementary school, I began to write silly realistic fiction stories based off of me and my classmates. In middle school, when I experienced my first breakup, I turned to writing poetry. In high school, whenever I felt overwhelmed with emotion, I would write everything down and then rip it up. 

Now, I’m a freshman at F&M, and I intend to major in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. 

I think my desire to write doesn’t come from a love of reading or a love of literature, it comes from how much I love to talk. Vain, I know. Talking is just so fun. Listening to other people talk is even more fun. I love noticing how everyone tells a story differently. I love how certain people have certain words that they always use. It’s fascinating picking up on a person’s voice beyond the sound of it. That’s one of my favorite things about writing. Even if it’s nonfiction writing, I like creating a strong voice that readers can relate to or at least simply enjoy. The books I do like always have a memorable voice behind the words. 

But, within one’s voice is one’s feelings. Personally, what I love the most about writing is the act of conveying raw emotion. I find this fascination in multiple facets of my life. For instance, I’ve been a dancer ever since I was four years old. One of my favorite styles of dance is modern dance. Modern dance was created by Martha Graham as a way to rebel against the restrictions of expression and creativity in classic ballet. Modern is all about telling a story, a thought, or an emotion through contortions of the body that aren’t seen as beautiful as much as they are seen as just real. 

That’s what I love about writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect or beautiful; not all poetry has to rhyme. I love reading about one’s expression of raw emotions and feelings or intimate thoughts in one’s head. I will happily write about anything, especially college life here at F&M.

First-Year Alison Waller is a contributing writer. Her email is