When it comes to advice for future MIW cohorts, I have come up with six ways to make the best of this minor.
1. Be excited about writing. The Writing 220 course offers plenty of writing opportunities that you should be excited about. Although it definitely takes some hard work, this class is unique in the way that it allows you to work with writing projects with topics that are important to you. So make you sure you pick something that makes you excited to write!
2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Before taking this class, my only writing experience was in stereotypical English classes, which included writing essay after essay. In the Writing Minor, I am able to push myself to new ways of writing. For example, in Writing 220 I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and was able to produce a series of comic strips, as well as a Buzzfeed article. Although I had the most difficulty conforming to the conventions of these new medias, I found that when I challenged my writing skills, it was much more rewarding to produce a final project. And with that, I urge you to challenge your writing skills as well.
3. Take advantage of the available resources. Not many students have the luxury of taking a class full of other like-minded people. Take advantage of this. You are surrounded by writers who are willing to help you become a better writer and you should be eager to accept their constructive criticism. Additionally, being a MIW student also gives you special perks in the Sweetland Center for writing. As a MIW student, you are allowed extra 1-on-1 time with staff members to talk about your writing and current projects!
4. Ask questions. This piece of advice sort of works in tandem with the “Take Advantage of Available Resources” point. You will go through multiple peer workshops while taking courses in this minor and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. Volunteer your writing to be workshopped as often as possible. This is the best way to better your writing. And with that, come to every workshop with a list of questions for your peers. You can ask questions about everything from grammar to content, it doesn’t really matter. Just make sure you ask questions.
5. Make Connections. This program is unique in that each cohort is relatively small compared to other minors. This gives you the ability to make fast friends with other students in the minor, as well as to connect with staff members. In a large university such as Michigan, making connections is very important. The MIW staff also provides plenty of opportunities, such as pizza parties and group gatherings, for you to connect with your peers. Enjoy these moments, make friends and connect with staff!
6. Write. That’s all.