It seems like just yesterday that I received an email informing me that I had been accepted into the Sweetland Minor in Writing program. Sorry for the most cliché possible first sentence. That was intentionally obnoxious and dull. Let’s try that one again.
Once upon a time, I dreamt of one day becoming a writing scholar. The Sweetland Minor in Writing has enabled me to live happily ever after. Forgive me again, I just really like fairy tales.
Let’s forget the introduction. All in all, I am very pleased with my decision to pursue a writing minor. To that end, I am also very happy with the way my writing has improved during my four years as an undergraduate. This journey began by being a part of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program as a freshman. To be perfectly honest, I applied to that program purely on the basis that I wanted to live in Alice Lloyd Hall, which would guarantee that I wasn’t going to be one of the many extremely unfortunate freshman that had to live on the dreaded island that they call North Campus. So that’s how my story begins: applying to a writing community with no intention whatsoever of actually leveraging or engaging in the writing component. Four years later, it turns out that this was the start of the yellow brick road that led me to becoming a Sweetland Minor in Writing. During my time as a Lloyd Hall Scholar, I formed relationships with two great Sweetland Professors and realized how nice it was to be a part of a small writing community. Taking two different writing courses as a freshman also allowed me to discover the merit behind a writing education. Simply put, writing is a fundamental skill that is a part of our every day lives. It allows people to communicate, debate, and challenge concepts as we currently understand them.
During my two years as a part of the Sweetland Minor in Writing program, I believe that I strengthened my writing in several different ways. Among them, I learned how to identify and address a targeted audience, articulate my thoughts in a more clear and succinct manner, and in general write with passion and conviction.
The five specific courses that I took to fulfill the Minor were Writing 220, English 225, SM 217, American Culture 345, and Writing 400. My professors in each of these classes were outstanding, and I can genuinely think back and acknowledge specific improvement in my writing stemming from each one of these courses. Writing 220 forced me to think about why I write and how I can make my writing more relatable to people. English 225 taught me the art behind an argumentative and persuasive style of writing. SM 217 educated me on writing in a professional manner that is appropriate for business and general career endeavors. American Culture 345 helped make my writing far more clean, efficient, and reader friendly. Lastly, Writing 400 forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and make an elaborate web-based portfolio to improve my design skills and overall aptitude for creating pieces that are both purposeful and meaningful.
There are many elements to the Sweetland Minor in Writing that I have greatly enjoyed. Among them, two in particular stand out. First, as already alluded to, I really value being a part of a small, close-knit community. Enrolling in a 20-student seminar as opposed to a 200-person lecture is like night and day. I also really appreciate the familiarity and continuity throughout the program in general. I feel as though I know a lot of people and have strong and comfortable working relationships with tons of students and faculty members. Second, I love how the Minor is largely open. In other words, with the exception of a gateway and capstone course that everyone student must take, the program is very flexible and allows students to fulfill the remaining branches of the Minor from a wide range of classes and subject matter. This allowed me to enroll in courses that I was generally excited about being a part of and certainly motivated me to put fourth my best work.
Considering my body of work in Writing 400 specifically, I am happy with the material that I produced. My Writer’s Evolution essay allowed me to really consider the trajectory of my four-year undergraduate writing career. I was able to acknowledge areas of great improvement while also identify areas that still need to be addressed. My final project about summer camps was without a doubt the most rewarding assignment that I have worked on in college. Although I love sports and have had the opportunity to engage in that realm with countless assignments due to being a Sport Management major, my final writing project easily stood out to me amongst this clutter. I was able to immerse myself in a topic near and dear to my heart. I can honestly say that working on something of genuine passion and interest makes a world of difference. My final project allowed me to be creative and unique in the work that I produced while genuinely enjoying the entire process behind it.
In regards to my short and long-term writing ambitions, they are fairly straightforward. As I have already stated on multiple occasions, Law School will be the next chapter of my life. Needless to say, in the horrible and scary legal world, it is essential to be able to write well. Thus, over the next three years, I will be learning an entirely new form of writing. Given my experiences and growth as a writer in college, I definitely feel as though I have been well prepared to undertake the challenges and rigors behind a legal education. Beyond the law, I also want to continue writing as an enjoyable leisure activity. I take passion in the voice that generally shines through in many of my pieces. I want to hold on to this voice and continue to develop and refine it. For me, writing is a lot more than a skill in life. It is a means of identification that I will always have and forever lean on.