Make a Date and Kiss Your Lonely White Space Blues Goodbye

By October 28, 2013Peer Writing Tutoring

Dear Head: I’ve found myself feeling alone sometimes in the UCWbL. I look around and everyone is working one-on-one with writers. I see them setting agendas, writing marginal comments in Word, and talking about next steps, and I get jealous. When my appointments cancel on me or no one schedules one in the first place, I’m left with no work to do. I find myself feeling a combination of bored and a kind of lonely that is normally only reserved for my Saturday night Netflix and cookie dough binges. How can I make use of my time to banish this feeling of listlessness?-Single and Ready to Mingle


Dear Single,

I know exactly how you feel. Being alone and without purpose is a terrible feeling, and you’re left wondering what got you to that place. “Was it something I said?” you may ask yourself. “Was I too directive? Do I have bad breath?” While taking a shower, applying some deodorant, and brushing your teeth are all great steps to take in order to make sure your appointment calendar is full, sometimes it’s inevitable. It’s not always about you. It’s them. Here’s what you can do to find your purpose so you can move on and fill up that sad, empty white space.

Chat With a Tutor

Often times the best way to deal with a bout of loneliness is to immerse yourself in the company of others. Chat With a Tutor is a tried and true method of making contact with other writers who want and need your support! Whether it’s a question on citations, formatting, or just making an appointment with the Writing Center, these writers reach out because they really do want to work with you. Take the time to meet someone new by opening up the “Chat With a Tutor” folder on the WDrive (located in the “Writing Center” folder). In that folder you’ll find directions on how to use Chat With a Tutor. Log on to the “LibraryH3lp Webchat Client” and you’ll be on your way to meeting tons of new writers in no time. If there are already two people staffing Chat With a Tutor, move on to another project.

ePortfolio Work

When you’re stood up and lonely—and other tutors are already chatting—take a little “you time”. Open your UCWbL diary, also known as your ePortfolio. Take a look at the ePortfolios of other UCWbLers who have gone through exactly what you’re going through. Get inspiration on your philosophy and take some time to revise it, or even pen the next great angsty TSwifty break up song.  Look to see if there are appointments you can collaboratively observe (Medrano 2013) for your Learning from Peers section. Take a look at the digication Get Help page for ways to spruce up your ePortfolio with some awesome design elements. Add some quotes from the writings of the greats like North, Harris, and Queen Swift herself (Because tutoring makes you good at love, y’all).

Blogging for the UCWbL

If neither Chat With a Tutor nor “you time” calls you, you can turn to the best outlet to let everyone know exactly how you’re feeling: the social media platform known as the blog. Check “do UCWbL work” on UCWbLcation for any existing blog prompts from the Social Media team. If you have your own topic related to our work, take it and run with it (metaphorically- actually, just write about it). As we all know, everyone who writes anything is a writer. Don’t be afraid to put your feelings and thoughts out there and submit your post draft to Brandon H. to get vetted for publication.

Ask a Receptionist, Director, or Head for Projects

If you’re still struggling with your feelings of loneliness and stinging with the pain of being abandoned, and none of these ideas seem like they will put a song back in your heart, it’s best to turn to a trusted advisor for help. The directors and heads are here and can offer some awesome suggestions on what to work on next. Ask us if we have anything you can do, or if we know of someone who could use some help on a project. We are more than willing to be your shoulder to cry on, and can help get you back on your feet, filling that white space in no time, so that you won’t have to cry on our shoulder at all.

Logging Your White Space

Congratulations! You made it through rejection and loneliness, and now it’s time to prove it to everyone that you’ve moved on. Show everyone just how much fun you’ve been having working by writing a log detailing the work you’ve done for the UCWbL. To log your white space, simply create a placeholder appointment during the correct window of time on WCOnline with the appropriate client. For example, if you were on Chat With a Tutor, you’d select “01 Chat With a Tutor” in the client list.

Your life now has purpose. You’re welcome.


Feelings of rejection and loneliness come over all of us when we see that cruel, rectangular white space on our schedule. It hurts at first, but you will recover, thanks to the helpful advice above and your willingness to get yourself back in the UCWbL-work game. After you fill your white space and write your logs, treat yourself to some cookie dough and a good movie. When your white space turns to green, your heart becomes whole again.