A Letter to Future Gateway Students

Dear Future Gateway Students,

Don’t be scared. This class is fun! You get to hang out with interesting people who think interesting things and then you get to write about whatever you want…guided by prompts of course ;).

Maybe you’re not scared like I was, maybe you’re just excited. If this is you, that’s great! If this isn’t you, then keep reading (but also keep reading even if this isn’t you, because maybe I’ll still have relevant advice). When I went to orientation for this class and saw the finished ePortfolios of the students before me, I was both amazed and scared. Amazed at how professional their work looked and scared that I had to climb such a high mountain. But here’s a piece of advice. Don’t be scared or nervous or worried, because those feelings stifle creativity and the important thing to remember is that your final ePortfolios won’t happen over night. They’ll happen over the course of the entire semester and your instructor will space individual parts out along the way so by the end of the class, you have the bulk of everything you need.

Here’s another piece of advice. Don’t limit yourself. If I could go back to the beginning of the class when we were brainstorming ideas for our first project, I would tell myself to think outside the box and then think outside of that box and even that box, because there are so many interesting and different things you can do with this project. At the same time, be slow. Be slow? That’s not something you hear often, but I mean it. You don’t have to go with the first idea that pops into your head. I took over a month to even decide on my overall topic and even still changed the genre of my piece after writing the first draft.

The re-purposing project will seem daunting, because you have this assignment that basically sets the tone for the rest of your assignments for that semester. But remember this. You can re-purpose anything! It doesn’t have to be an academic essay or creative fiction. Seriously, you could re-purpose a grocery list if you think about it long enough. Whose grocery list is it? What are they shopping for? Do they even need groceries or are they trying to take their minds off of something? See what I did there? The possibilities are endless.

Maybe you don’t even quite understand all of the pieces of advice I’m giving you yet and that’s ok. Once you start the class things will start to fall in place and hopefully something I’ve said here will help you even just a little bit. The last thing I’ll say, is pick a topic that is dear to your heart, because it will be hard to last the entire semester if you choose something you’re not passionate about.

Good luck!


P.S. The final results of your ePortfolio will blow your mind and it will be a source of great satisfaction and accomplishment that you can show to potential employers, family members or whomever you want. So, going into Writing 220, know that the work you do there is going toward something useful and important.


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