“Would you like to declare today?”
While I’ve always wanted to either major or minor in creative writing, I didn’t expect to make it official when I walked in to my advising appointment today. Planning ahead, I had made the appointment to go over some questions I had regarding the major. My advisor and I went over distribution requirements, course options, and my track to graduation. At the end, since it was pretty evident that I was going to major in creative writing, my advisor asked if I was interested in declaring. A signature later, I was officially a creative writing major. I even received my major shirt, a purple spectacle that would let everyone know I’m majoring in creative writing through the Residential College.
The truth is, I am currently taking my first creative writing class this semester. So far, I’ve absolutely loved it, enough to declare my major on the topic; however, my love of reading and writing started long before my adventures here. Since I was young, I’ve loved to write stories. In middle school, I made it to 70+ pages in two or three novels each before abandoning them. Yet, as time went by, it became harder and harder to write for non-academic purposes. By my sophomore and junior years of high school, my creative writing practice stood at a halt.
Last year, becoming a blogger for arts, ink. was a great opportunity to start writing again. The work I feature here isn’t so much my normal writing as it is a stream of current thoughts, but it has still been a great creative outlet. This year, Narration (RCHUMS 220) has acted as a revival of sorts for my love of creative writing. While I’m pretty rusty, it feels good to write again. Whether reading other students’ work or creating short stories of my own, this class has been a nice balance to my other ones. Whenever I am feeling particularly stressed, working on homework for this class — of which typically entails crafting short stories, responding to other students’ work, or analyzing famous pieces — is something I look forward to. I’m very excited to take future courses surrounding literature and creative writing.
In majoring in creative writing, I’m pursuing a passion more than money. Believe me, I’ve heard plenty of comments regarding a creative writing major and the decision to pursue a “useless” or “unrealistic” degree. Sometimes, the same is also said about my other intended major, Sociology, though not quite to the same degree (people typically just don’t fully understand what it is or what students can do with it). I accept this as reality, but while I understand and appreciate where people are coming from, I also believe certain areas — such as creative expression and the humanities — might hold more merit than they are given credit for.
Even if not directly translated into a job, the skills I will develop though a creative writing major will be beneficial wherever I end up. I see the major as a unique opportunity to build skills not just for writing as a hobby, but for clear and efficient writing overall. Storytelling, critical analysis, and effective communication are just several skills gained through the major, not to mention persistence, initiative, and humility as individual traits. Throughout the years, creative writing has been a huge part of making the world a better place, and even if I don’t change the world with my writing, it will have impacted me for the better. Overall, I’m glad I declared my major today, and I’m ecstatic for what the major has to offer.