Dear New English Major (2017 edition)

This morning the students in our gateway course (ENGL 170: Introduction to Literature and Writing Studies) closed the semester by compiling some points of advice for next year’s class. They also enjoyed Devon’s homemade cake pops 🙂

Some highlights from our discussion are below:

  • Read. Do the reading. All of it. .
  • Don’t procrastinate. It’s not worth it. Get your stuff done. When you hear the birds chirping, it stops being fun.
  • Ask for help. If something is unclear or you don’t know the information, ask.
  • Try to take something out of every item on the syllabus. Even if you hate it, it’s on there for a reason.
  • Breathe. There’s no reason to hyperventilate.
  • Write every day in small and big ways. Be sure to develop your own voice.
  • Accept the views of others (re: literary analysis), even when they are not your own
  • Eat the cupcake.
  • It’s okay to be a nerd. You’ve found your tribe.
  • Don’t apologize unless you really should.
  • Sometimes the readings you don’t like have the most to teach you.
  • Look intently, think critically, and know your sources. This takes time. So see #2.
  • Even the most seemingly insignificant detail can change the way you read something.
  • Cake pops by prescription. Also Cheeze Balls.
  • Know your limits. Take breaks when you need to. Practice self care.
  • Write from your heart and edit from your head.
  • You know you’re in deep when you start laughing aloud at the Jane Austen memes.
  • Pet all the dogs.
  • Tears are not weakness.
  • May the force be with you. Also the course.

Peace out, friends!!  And when you’re done studying for finals, watch for the rest of this semester’s alumni profiles (crafted by our gateway students) right here on our blog.

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