Advice for your pre-minor self

Welcome to the Writing Minor! Congrats on getting in and get ready for a lonnnnng ride of writing. The gateway course to the minor in writing is challenging and liberating. It will push you to try new things (like make an ad campaign on iMovie or create a personal website) while giving you the freedom to write about essentially whatever you want. I have compiled some words of advice I wish I had going into the minor: read and enjoy the journey you’re about to embark on!

1. When you talk about why you write (which you will do, often) be honest. Don’t worry if it’s different from everyone else. Everyone writes for different reasons. You don’t need to love writing, you don’t even need to like it. But if you are here in the writing minor, you must have some connection to it. What is it?

2. Speak up in class. Everyone is nice. Everyone wants to hear your ideas. Don’t be shy.

3. When you go to repurpose a project (it will make more sense later, I promise) pick a topic you care about. You’ll be working with the topic for more or less the rest of the semester. You do NOT want to get stuck with a topic you don’t like/is boring just because you thought it would be easy to write about.

4. Get to know the people in your class. They are your sounding board. If you don’t understand an assignment, ask someone. If you’re freaking out about something you haven’t started that’s due in an hour, vent to someone. Don’t worry if you went in with no friends in the cohort, you will leave with plenty.

5. Finally, take advantage of the opportunity you have to write about essentially anything. There are next to no restrictions in the gateway course. You can write about anything in any way that you want. You can blog, write a research paper, make a movie. Just do something new and something interesting. You won’t always have this chance, don’t let it pass you by.

Good luck, and have fun!




3 thoughts to “Advice for your pre-minor self”

  1. Hi Emily,

    I touched on a lot of the points you make in my own conclusive blog post as well. I think the fact that a lot of us in class have taken away similar lessons from the gateway course facilitates what an amazing community we are a part of. It’s been great getting to know you and your writing in our blog group, and it will be interesting to observe how each of our writing progresses throughout the minor!

    Also, to any newly admitted writing minors reading this: Emily’s right about topic choice. I chose to write about hummus for my repurposing and remediation projects, and if I didn’t have a vested interest in that topic, I would have quickly became sick of it. Choose wisely!

  2. Hey Emily, I really appreciate these tips mostly because they almost exactly align with my jitters for the course. The repurposing project is so broad and open, I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out what would be the best project for me to do. I’m afraid of picking a topic because I ran out of time, not because its what resonates with me most. You wrote about how fantastic an opportunity it is to write about whatever you want, but in truth it can also be quite overwhelming! Thank you for your words nonetheless and hopefully I’ll decide on something that I’m proud of.

  3. Hi Emily! I was first drawn to continue reading your advice post due to the structure. Being incredibly busy as most (if not all) of us are, I found that the way you listed out your advice was anxiety relieving in itself. I also really liked how you italicized your main points, going on to elaborate in regular font. Now, onto the content. Well, let me just say, thank you! Your second point, though your shortest, ironically struck me the most. I tend to be somewhat shy in class, though I already can tell that this writing environment fosters encouragement and engagement. Because of this, I have started speaking up and I certainly will continue to. It is hard to pick another piece of advice that especially meant a lot to me because they truly all did. I found everything you said useful and important. I will be referencing this post when I need a quick and clear call back down to earth. The way you present it, as long as I like to write, care about getting to know those around me, and enjoy engaging with others ideas as well as my own, I will be fine. Since all of these things are true to me, your advice not only eased my anxiety but truly made me excited. Thank you for taking the time to write some words of advice to us eager young writers; I truly appreciate it.

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