Students Pick Up Recreational Blogging

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Media by Janvi Huria

Janvi Huria, senior, writes about online learning’s racial and gender inequality and mental health factor for her upcoming blog post. “I’m really into gender inequity in various spaces so topics like this instantly catch my eye,” she said. Generally, Huria spends three hours researching a topic and about an hour writing and editing the post. She then has her parents read it over one last time before making an illustrated cover and finally hitting the “post” button.

Sprawled on her couch, Janvi Huria, senior, dazed off in sheer boredom. She questioned her activities, asking her friends and family what she could do to take up time. That is when she stumbled upon the art of blogging. 

Nine months later, “Janvi’s Introspective and Interesting Ideas” now garners an upward of 5,000 views.

Huria doesn’t follow a strict regimen; she writes whenever an idea crosses her mind. From blogging about gender diversity in the U.S. government to the science of well-being, the 16 year old keeps an eye out for potential blog ideas from articles sent to her and word of mouth. 

“I always enjoyed writing as a creative outlet, and I never thought of doing more with that,” Huria said. “Blogging has become a great way to research the things I am passionate about and express my thoughts on them.”

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While her first quarter workload didn’t allow for much free time, Huria noted that she has had time to develop regular ideas during the second quarter. 

Huria said blogging has given her the space to develop her writing skills and intrapersonal reflections, which she said are important during her college application process.

“With college applications, you need to be able to express yourself succinctly,” Huria said. “Sometimes I have really great ideas on a topic I want to write about, but it doesn’t really fit into any of my college essay prompts, so I blog about it.”

Once the pandemic hit, Huria reflected that a lot of her interests relied on the presence of her friends and family. To safely keep herself occupied, blogging became one of her passions.

“There is always a fear that people will judge your thoughts, but at the end, everyone is so preoccupied with themselves,” Huria said. “You can’t miss out on that opportunity to explore your interests.”

There is always a fear that people will judge your thoughts, but at the end, everyone is so preoccupied with themselves. You can’t miss out on that opportunity to explore your interests. ”

— Janvi Huria

Sarah George, senior, also started blogging recreationally last January, following her crowning as Miss Saint Louis Outstanding Teen 2019-2021.

George’s blog, “Warrior not a Worrier”, focuses on both global issues and personal issues to George. She has written about topics from the EU’s involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative to World Vitiligo Day.

While blogging is a way to express about George’s interests, she is a firm believer in using the platform to further advocacy conversations, not self-promotion. 

Before I started writing, I thought I was doing too much. Now, I realize that you can never do enough, especially in just a high school setting. You have to be exposed to the world past high school and there will always be something that needs discussion.”

— Sarah George

“When you have a platform, it is so easy to brag and not be humble,” George said. “I remind myself not to think with that mentality.”

The blog’s view count can be seen under each post, but George said she doesn’t really focus on that. Both Huria and George echo a similar theme: they would write even if only a few people were reading. 

Since she has started blogging, George’s scope of how much she can do for others has widened. 

Rob Durham, language arts teacher, said writing is vital, even making his Creative Writing students blog for a completion grade. 

Creative writing students are assigned a blogging assignment on WordPress where they have to write two 250 word blogs per week. Some of Durham’s former students continue to blog on the site, and Durham follows them, so he sees their posts. 

Durham blogged in his 20s, specifically on MySpace, Live Journal and eventually WordPress. To him, writing became a habit during that time and that is what he aims for his students. 

“It is extremely important, especially in your teenage years to have an outlet for writing,” Durham said. “It is free therapy.”

COVID-19’s silver lining, Durham said, is that novelty of the first few months finally allowed people to be “bored,” which is when one gets things done.