Advice for the “Youngins”

Dear Future Cohort,

First and foremost, congrats on getting into the Minor in Writing!  I hope you are prepared for a very exciting semester.

I remember being in your shoes on my first day.  My thought was that I was going to have a semester filled with grammar, essays, and nit-picky grading (I wasn’t exactly thrilled).


Surprisingly, (and luckily!) this was not the case.  If you have a journey anything like my own, you will have the opportunity to repurpose short passages into a magazine article, create a movie based off of a case study, and eventually make a website showing who you are as a writer.

Pretty exciting, right!?

I know this can seem like a lot.  If you would have told me this upon entering the minor I would have probably been very overwhelmed.

But don’t worry!  It all comes together and makes for a memorable semester.

Here are a few tips to having a successful time in the Gateway Course:

1.  Meet with your professor in office hours!!  I can’t say enough how helpful this was.  My professor, Naomi Silver, was so helpful with all of my projects.  It is nice having someone to chat with who is just as thrilled about your idea and its progression.

2.  Make a point of getting to know your blog groups.  During the semester, you will have a chance to meet so many different writers who are passionate about various topics.  Use this to your benefit! Bounce ideas off of each other and don’t be afraid to give your honest opinion.  It was through many of my conversations with other students in my class that I had “Aha” moments in my writing.

3.  Challenge yourself to try something new.  Never produced a video before?  Try it!  Don’t let the fear of not being an expert in a certain field keep you from trying.  There are resources on campus to help you and the other members in the cohort are oftentimes struggling with the same problems so it helps to collaborate.

So, enjoy your time and get ready for a semester where you learn about things such as exigence, pathos, ethos, and kairos.  (Don’t worry about not knowing those things now!)

As Yoda would say, “PATIENCE YOU MUST HAVE my young padawan.”



Amanda Kemmer

Amanda (noun): Ross BBA senior. Avid puppy lover. Detroit International Half-Marathon runner.

3 thoughts to “Advice for the “Youngins””

  1. Hi Amanda, first of all, I love the hilarious grammar quote you posted.
    I absolutely agree with you that my professor and my classmates will be essential to my experience in the course. I am so excited to be a part of a group that shares my passion in writing. In other courses, I often find people taking courses just for the sake of meeting requirements. But in the minor, everyone’s here truly because they want to be here. I think seeing everyone’s different writing styles and topics will be extremely interesting to read and will provide a means inspiration as well.

  2. Hey Amanda!
    First off, thanks for this advise, as it reminded me of how awesome of an opportunity it is to be a part of this program and class. I also want to tell you that I truly appreciate your enthusiastic and energetic tone within your blog post, as it is something that I work to convey in my own writing.
    On a more focused note, however, I completely agree with your idea that getting to know your professor and your writing groups is vital to your growth as a writer through the course of this class. I am so excited to get to share my time and writing with the people in my class this semester. When you tell me to “try something new”, I want to ask you “How?” I know though, that trying something new is a very situational statement and a “how” in this category might be hard to answer. I aspire to try new things in class by taking risk and experimenting with my talents as a writer, as well as incorporating my voice and applying my personality to pieces I develop throughout the course of this semester.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

  3. Thank you Amanda for the stellar advice! During my minor in writing orientation I remember asking about exploring unfamiliar mediums, such as making a film, but was unsure about the resources that existed to guide me. I really do want to challenge myself this semester and hopefully I can come across the tools that exist to help me. The orientation was also a great opportunity to meet students from the other intro class. Hopefully I’ll get to know them just as well as my own group of cohorts, and create a bigger pool to bounce ideas off of!

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