My advice to those future gateway course students is simple– don’t treat this like just another writing class. There are no stereotypical “dreary” exercises or tedious papers that carry no significant meaning or interest to your life. We’ve all had our share of writing or English classes throughout the years where you just “do the assignments” with the primary motivation being to achieve the best grade you can. If you have chosen to be a part of the writing minor, you must have found joy in some aspect of writing, and look no further: you will get a chance to explore that joy in this class. Yes it is an introductory course, but there is SO much that you can walk away with IF you have the right attitude.
This class allows the student a lot of creative freedom. If you treat the assignments as an opportunity to explore a passion and create something that will last (rather than just more homework, and another course to get through) then you are going to walk out of the Gateway with sense of pride and accomplishment. This class is truly what you make of it– the two biggest assignments have almost no explicit requirements and can be conducted through, quite literally, any medium of written expression you can think of. Since the dominant portion of the class revolves around these re-purposing and remediation projects, don’t rush the process of selecting an old piece of writing to spend the semester working with until you are confident you can really push the boundaries with the topic. From my own experiences and observing my classmates in my section, many people have created stand-alone pieces of work in this class they are not only proud of, but will stand the test of time and be worth keeping over the years. It would be a shame not to take advantage of such a opporunity by viewing the entire process as “work”.