Imagine a space where you, a writer, are surrounded both by other inspiring writers and experienced, published authors. You are encouraged to write, you can explore whatever ideas and story concepts you want. You are afforded numerous experiences that teach you how to diversify and strengthen your writing. You can concentrate in as many different kinds of writing as you want. You can take classes that cover certain topics in writing, or explore your own topics through extracurricular opportunities.
That’s what I discovered during my first year as a Writing Arts student. When I started as a student in the Rowan University Writing Arts department, I thought of Writing Arts as a gateway to a teaching position. My mentor at community college, Jorie Rao, was a graduate of the department, and she had been teaching for almost five years when I met her. I decided to go for the same degree because I was looking for a similar career.
What I didn’t realize about Writing Arts was that it’s versatile, and has a lot of practical applications. Everybody needs to write, no matter what path they take in life. Writing is a universal practice, and Writing Arts is a universal degree. I'm learning not only the creative writing that I'm passionate about, but various modes of writing and how they are applicable in my personal, professional, and creative lives.
I have spent almost a year learning the foundations and meaning of quality writing, and now I am also learning more about its applications. For instance, when I began my Writing Arts journey, I thought my specialization in Creative Writing would only be useful to me as either a teacher or an author. Now, I know the degree is much more comprehensive than that. Writing Arts connects its students to the roots of humanity’s need to communicate and record. Students learn the history and social components of writing in their introductory coursework. They learn how their own history and cultural background affects and enriches their writing.
I was always encouraged to follow my own instincts and break "rules" if need be. Most of my classes were about expanding my mind and exploring my own ideas, instead of just absorbing those of other people. I was an active agent in my learning, and I am becoming an active agent in my writing. I have knowledge and understanding of structure and form now, and the confidence to keep writing even when I feel like my writing is terrible.
The most fulfilling and catalyzing experience in my Writing Arts journey has been my internship. It reinforces the lessons I’ve previously learned about working in teams from my prior courses, and has encouraged my growth in many other areas. Without Writing Arts, I would not have had this opportunity so early in my college career and my internship has the added bonus of counting for three college credits. I’m enhancing my experience in professionalism and communication, as well as learning how to use digital business software like Weebly, Adobe InDesign, and Hootsuite. My internship is pushing me to create and follow through with great ideas, and to write blog articles, social media posts, professional emails, video storyboards, and interview questions.
All of my experiences as a Writing Arts student have culminated in these two realizations: I am earning a degree that can help me get any job I want, and I have found a space to write and people that I feel I could form a community with. I am enjoying my Writing Arts journey and enriching myself personally and professionally. The universal applications that I have learned in my coursework will stay with me, and I am sure as I continue, I will learn many more ways that writing is integrated into the social foundations of humanity.
With that said, if you’ve already joined Writing Arts, great! Welcome to the community. If you’re looking for a place that will help you explore your writing and yourself as a writer, you’re in the right spot. We can’t wait to meet you if we haven’t already, and we hope you’re looking forward to exploring your passions through rigorous academics and valuable experiences. Writing Arts is a home for creative, aspiring minds looking to change the world and the future of writing. You’ll fit right in.