In sum, my last thoughts for Writing 200 is: this was a rigorous course that concluded the Minor in Writing (MIW) and my college career in a thoughtful, pleasant way.
I entered college with no idea what I wanted to do and ended up pursuing the MIW as a resume builder. Little did I know that I would actually enjoy it and that it would change my perceptions of writing. I never thought about why or how I write; to me these things were not that important. I wasn’t pursuing a career in journalism and I never found a need to have the answers to these questions ready to go. But what I found is that I learned more about myself than my writing abilities in answering these questions. And through the course of the MIW, I realized that writing became a way for me to discover my beliefs and opinions on subjects that I otherwise didn’t think much about.
In the meantime, I was improving my writing skills too! I learned to write in different mediums, how to address separate audiences and how to really think about the reader as I composed my work. And today, whether I’m drafting an email or a 30 page research paper, I feel more equipped to explain my point and communicate effectively. I am very thankful for the skills I have attainted from the MIW.
The MIW was a process that didn’t come full circle until the final class, Writing 400. (But before I say anything about this class:Don’t be fooled! Points take FOREVER! So get started on them early!) Although the expectations are high, the workload seems unattainable and your are asked to give the most effort during a time when you have the least motivation (second semester senior year), you may find that it truly was worth it in the end. At least that is what I found. Writing 400 pushed me to view older pieces of writing from my college career in a light that I had never viewed them in before. Truthfully, I had never given many of the pieces much thought after I turned them in and only thought about the grade I was going to get on them. But writing the annotated bibliography caused me to analyze each piece and explore what I learned from it and how I could have made it better. Then I was pushed to write my evolutionary essay and connect all these pieces together into an argument. This was difficult. How was I supposed to connect every piece of writing I had composed in college into one, seamless argument. Oh, and then connect it to the capstone project. Well initially I just thought about how my writing had affected me. I realized that it was a way for me to converse with myself and discover my thoughts, feelings and emotions. My “thesis” (I guess if you want to call it that) was,
Writing is the how for me. It has been through the process of writing that I have been able to explore, discover and develop my own thoughts.
And then I had to think about this project. Something I cared about so much that I was going to be married to it for over half of the semester. And pour more thought and energy into than any other academic assignment… EVER. I thought, sure, I’ll skim by like I always do – I won’t really be married to it. Well, looking back, I had a ring on my finger, vows exchanged and was cohabiting with that capstone project. But the coolest part was that it was honestly by choice. I was given the autonomy to direct my own project. And write about essentially what ever I wanted. At first this made it almost impossible to choose a subject, but once I did, I fell in love with it. Absolutely head over heals.
Now I would like to say it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t. It was more like meeting someone at the bar and the next morning you remember that person being really attractive but you really have no idea. You’d like to think they are but you can’t remember what they look like. And then you start texting them and forming an image of what you think they like in your head, but again you have no idea. And then finally, you meet them for coffee and it all become clear. Boom: you’re in love.
My project was this fuzzy idea. And then I started talking about it with my classmates through workshops and open group discussion. I met in office hours with my professor Ray (who is great – you should definitely get in his class if you can) and you start to form an idea of what your capstone project will like like. And then you’re forced to write a proposal and make a plan with deadlines and then, basically start working. Once you get past the research faze it becomes clear and Boom: you’re in love.
So you write this project and you display it on a beautiful website platform and you are so, so proud of it. And then you’re asked to make the evolutionary essay a bridge between your portfolio and the capstone project, and then add a bunch of additional pieces to your portfolio. And you realize, they are all connected.
It is amazing but viewing my writing is like reflecting on my college journey. It’s silly, flawed and choppy yet enlightening and story-like.
The capstone project was a way for me to reflect on myself, my interests and all the knowledge I had gained from college. And it is really cool to see!
As for the rest of my life I really have no idea. I am one of those fortunate ones that has a plan for post college. I’m traveling through Europe for 3 weeks and then moving to Boston to do sales for an IT research and advisory firm called Gartner. It is all very scary and exciting but to be honest, I have absolutely no idea if this is what I want to do with my life. But hey, it’s a start and an income. So I’ll take it.
Someday I want to find and do something fulfilling. I could see myself returning to school to get my masters in social work or education and pursuing completely different career but who really knows. And as for writing, I know that it will follow me wherever I go. I want to continue writing to make sure I don’t loose the skills I currently have. But the cool part is I think this won’t be too hard. I can write for personal interests of diary keeping and thought discovery or discernment. I can write about things I learn in the future or about books I read. In the professional sphere of my life I will write reports summaries and explanations.
I’m excited for what the future holds and I am certain the MIW has better equipped me for what the future holds. And I’m not just saying that! I learned more about myself and my takeaways from college.
So to you I say: stick with it, you won’t regret it. And…HAPPY WRITING!