Advice to Future Gateway Students – Elise Vocke

Dear Future MiW Students,

Congrats! You are taking the first step, embarking on an incredible journey. I had a great feeling about the class even on the first day. However, if you did not have the same first impression, stick with it. I have learned a lot about myself and my classmates. In order for you to enjoy your first experience with the Sweetland minor, I compiled a list of suggestions below.

  1. Get close with your classmates.

This is a huge part of why I had such a lovely experience in Writing 220. The people made me excited to go to class everyday. If you see a Writing 220 classmate outside of the classroom, say hi. I have had many days bumping into MiW students outside of class and we both smiled, said hi, and caught up for a bit. It’s amazing how much a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. My classmates were so friendly and kind. By the end of the semester we all knew each other’s personalities really well. Also make a GroupMe for the class. This is extremely helpful, especially when there are questions about assignments or someone wants help editing a paper. People are very willing to edit papers outside of class for their peers. Take the time to ask someone to edit yours or for you to edit someone else’s.

2. Discover more about yourself.

I really learned a lot about myself through writing exercises in this course. Don’t be afraid to delve into your inner-self. It’s a really cool feeling. I remember, in one of my first Writing 220 assignments, learning about what inspired me to pursue my passion. I had no idea that one of my childhood toys had such a dramatic influence on me until I started writing about it. Really take the opportunity to learn more about yourself in this class. You won’t regret it.

3. Don’t be afraid of peer review.

Receiving feedback from 15 different students is extremely helpful when editing a paper. The way peer review is designed in Writing 220 is that you are able to ask questions to your peers and get them answered. Also you get to hear positives and suggestions. I am so happy I volunteered to have one of my projects looked at by the class. It gave me many new ideas for my project.

4. Write multiple drafts.

Do not let the fact that you spent a lot of time on a draft hold you back from starting over or drastically changing your path to the final product. I ended up completely re-doing one of my projects and am so happy I did. I knew something was missing before and I would not have been proud of my work turning it in had I not re-started the project. There is no shame in starting over. Do not hand in something you are not proud of. Take the time to make it a piece you feel pride in and are excited to share with others.


Lastly, I am happy to read through drafts and offer feedback for future Writing 220 students. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns, want advice, or want another pair of eyes to look over a paper.


Best of luck! The semester flies by. Try to enjoy every moment!




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