So You’re Doing the Minor in Writing…

… well that was a terrible idea. This is going to be the worst semester of your life- kidding, kidding. No, first of all: congratulations, and welcome to the minor! Let me tell you straight off the bat, this semester is not going to be like anything you may have expected coming into this, and it’s going to be absolutely wonderful. You’re going to be surrounded by people who actually enjoy writing; it sounds silly, but it really is a breath of fresh air to work with peers who actually care about editing your work to the best of their abilities and will give you constructive and useful feedback that can inspire you to try new things. Yes, blogging and commenting on other people’s posts is gong to feel a little awkward at first, but it gets to be really helpful, and if you make the effort, it can be a really rewarding experience.

Another big thing to know about the Gateway class: you’re not going to be writing prompted essay after prompted essay for arbitrary grades. This class is about you. This class is about finding out what you want from your writing and experimenting with different ways to share what you want to say. Yeah that didn’t make me feel any better the first time I heard it either- I’m pretty sure my blood pressure spiked a little when I heard we were going to be creating multimedia projects completely on our own,  but it’s going to be okay. Again, this class is about you, and that means, you get to make your projects about the things that are important to you. You are in control, you can do this. As someone eloquently put it in a previous “Advice to Minors” blog post: “YOU DO YOU”.

Strong recommendation: make use of your instructors and your peers. I know everyone goes on and on about the importance of office hours, but in this class, meetings with your professor can be a life saver. The Sweetland office is a magical place where projects suddenly make sense. Peer groups are equally helpful. Coming from someone who was extremely skeptical of the peer group experience, I can tell you that just talking it out with someone who is going through the same thing can make all the difference.

Always keep in mind: NO ONE ELSE KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING EITHER. Everyone’s learning new skills and challenging yourself will only make it more fun. You really can’t fail. Really. If you put in the effort, you will never fall flat on your back.


Here, have some inspirational writing memes:

Comic, guy sitting at computer. Finishes essay at 2:00am and considers it a masterpiece. Rereads essay at 7:00am and cannot understand a word  Dory the blue fish saying "Just keep writing, Just keep writing: Futurama Meme: Not sure if essay makes sense or I'm starting to believe my own bullshit Spongebob holding a piece of paper with the ornate word "The" on it. "After 4 hours of writing an essay"



Sonalee Joshi

Sonalee is a fourth year student in the College of LSA with an Honors major in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience with a Sweetland Minor in Writing.

3 thoughts to “So You’re Doing the Minor in Writing…”

  1. Hey Sonalee! You mentioned how awesome it was being surrounded by people who cared about writing. That’s the main reason I applied to the minor! Last semester I took English 225, and it was a bit frustrating to be in an English class where not everybody was engaged with the material. Frankly, it was super boring to be in a discussion class where no one talked. I’ve already noticed a difference in Writing 220. Everybody comes to class prepared and excited to talk about readings or possible project ideas. I’m really looking forward to peer review, because I think it’ll be a much richer and more rewarding experience than I have had previously! Thanks for your perspective!

  2. I feel like your advice is really applicable right now. While I’m excited for how much the gateway course is going to push my writing comfort zone, I’m also scared that I’ll create absolute trash. Knowing that others felt the same way is really comforting. I also agree with Emily–I’m so excited to be in a class of people who love writing at least as much as I do. I’m not used to getting so many comments during writing workshops. I also love how open everybody is to every sort of comment. I never feel weird about expressing my opinion during class; although, sometimes the discussion moves so fast that I feel like I miss my opening (but that’s just a sign that everybody’s really excited).

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