“Today I forgot how to spell ‘title'” – Alice Brown

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By Alice Brown

Today I forgot how to spell ‘title’, my spelling of choice being ‘tital’. I am in my second term of university and I forgot how to spell ‘title’. I don’t remember when I actually learned how to spell ‘title’ but I’m around 78% sure that it was a while ago and I was probably under the age of 10. Come to think of it, the amount of times I’ve used the word in writing is minute to the others in the dictionary of my mind. Therefore, I shouldn’t be embarrassed by my failure to type five letters in their correct order as I am merely out of practice.

Still, day after day, I propose this question to myself: Am I good enough? I have no answer. Do I even deserve this place at university? Is there someone who missed out on my place who can spell ‘title’ with no cause for concern? Would they be infuriated that a small girl who can barely type has defied all chances and scraped her way into what would have been their life?

Why do all these doubts and concerns arise from this one mistake?

I could ask my housemates, but would they know? I could ask my childhood friends who would fumble a reassuring iMessage and hope I don’t call them for the sixth time this term crying. I could ask my personal tutor who doesn’t even know my name but recognises me from turning up late with a danish and coffee to her lecture. Would she know?

The only person that can answer the question is myself. Would a final grade in an assessment validate my presence? Would that even be enough?

The pressure and expectations we place on ourselves while entering university is immense. We expect ourselves to make new friends, party every night, fall in love and still maintain a great sleeping pattern and gain a First at the end of it all. But in reality does this happen? To the lucky ones, maybe, but for me? I have housemates and one course mate. I haven’t been out in nearly a month and the one guy I did like pied me off quicker than you can say, “Pukka.” My sleeping pattern mirrors that of a barn owl and I have no idea how I am doing academically as that would require me to hand in an assignment, a deadline coming closer and closer.

So am I good enough? I have no idea and neither does anyone else. I guess if the answer to that were simple and easy we would all be slackers basking in the know-it-all sun rays and not reaching for beyond what we already know. Today I forgot how to spell ‘title’ and it probably won’t be the last time and probably wasn’t the first time. But will I now drop out of university and become a one woman band? No, I refuse to allow a noun to discourage me from continuing these four years ahead of me, because somehow I made it here and somehow I will succeed here. Misspellings or not. Hopefully not.

Alice is currently studying English BA. She lives in Manchester and is from a small town called Northallerton in North Yorkshire. When not studying she reads American Literature and writes to vent out her emotions. She also makes a good pasta.

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