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Hello! The AUS Writing Center’s journal “the Inkblot” returns with the new Spring 2023 issue, with a central theme of embracing yourself. The theme was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”


Our society continues to evolve over time to accommodate, and adapt to, each passing generation’s aspirations and demands. One persistent theme and trend across these different generations, however, is the pressure to conform, alter, and change yourself according to generally accepted ideals. Within us all is the familiarity with this pressure to conform to the expectations of others, regardless of who they may be (parents, siblings, friends, teachers) and what their expectations might hold for us. These expectations manifest differently for everyone, for different reasons, with different outcomes, whether they are academic expectations, societal expectations or gender expectations. But from where do those expectations stem? What benefits or costs do they hold in giving in to them, and in letting them go?


To see how different students interpreted this quote in their writing, you can read our 2023 Submissions and access them here. To commemorate the rise in AI this year, we have also included a submission from ChatGPT! [You can also read relevant research papers our students composed over the year on tutoring related topics under the "2023 Student Research Articles" tab]


We are also honored to feature the two winners of the Writing Center contest. The contest was based on the following four prompts:


Prompt 1: “Tell the story of a significant friendship in your life, and explore how the small decisions and actions you took together had far-reaching effects on your life trajectory.”


Prompt 2: "Talk about a time where you experienced a “Sliding Doors” moment in which it seemed like a seemingly insignificant moment led to a major fork in your life. You could possibly consider how different your life might be if you had made a different choice."


Prompt 3: “Even strangers can influence our lives. Tell the story of a chance encounter with a stranger that had a profound impact on your life.”


Prompt 4: “You possess a magical compass that can guide you through time and space. However, you soon realize that every decision has a butterfly effect on the future, and you must now choose carefully how to use the compass.”


Finally, be sure to check out our Graduating Tutors issue, where some of the graduating tutors pass on a few words of wisdom and share their memorable stories.


We hope you enjoy this year’s Inkblot Issue, and we will see you next year!


Happy reading,


The Writing Center Inkblot Team

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