Before I was accepted into the Creative Writing Department, I often did not read literature outside of young adult novels. I had felt as though I had found my home in-between the lines of badly-written romances. My knowledge of how to develop my writing was, therefore, limited to stories that often existed in the Twilight universe. It seemed to me, in my pre-high school days, that I could learn everything I needed know by sticking to what I already knew. I never imagined that I could find pleasure in the words of old English novels, contemporary poetry, personal narrative, autobiographies, translated stories, and culturally diverse work. (The list goes on.) In this way, I am thankful for the Creative Writing Department because it pushed me to overcome my fear of venturing beyond teenage pulp fiction.
By being introduced to unfamiliar ways of storytelling, I was able to gain new insights into the art of writing. I learned how to comprehend complex writing, which helped me get a better understanding of what literature could accomplish. The world of complex literature had opened up to me. Somehow, I learned an amazing code that lets me join some bootleg version of The Breakfast Club where reading and writing is at the center of our lives. As I read a range of literary forms from the plays of Shakespeare, to the inclusive poetry of Walt Whitman, and the beautiful language of Audre Lorde, I became more comfortable in my ability to understand writing.
As I am guided toward new genres and literary forms by the curriculum and teachers of the Creative Writing Department, more and more of these stories surface, and I get to discover them. These discoveries make me excited to develop my own writing and ideas about life. And by doing so, I have become a more entertaining, intelligent, and engaging person. Hopefully, I will continue to venture into the large variety of unfamiliar genres so that I drive myself to be the most amazing version of me.
Harmony Wicker, class of 2018