English major: Creative Writing concentration
Besides your current classes, what else are you doing or have you done that we should know about? Awards? Special projects? Travel? Service work?
Well, I work for the CLC as you mentioned. I edit the SpeakOut! journals that we publish every semester. Other than that, my life is mostly just classes and writing. I write a lot. As much as I can really.
What inspired you to get a degree in English? Why CSU? How did you choose your concentration?
Honestly, I don’t think there is any other field I could have gone into. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I used to write short stories about my stuffed animals when I was in elementary school. When I was in middle school, I flipped between a lot of potential career ideas but I was never excited enough about one to really stick with it and I could never see myself doing any of them in the future. I eventually gave myself permission to stop worrying about deciding on a career and just focused on school and the things I loved, which included writing still. Then when I was looking at schools and found out there was such thing as a creative writing concentration, I knew that was the only course of study for me. Also, ‘why CSU’? Well, my mom went to CSU and when I was younger, I knew I wanted to go here. I was a little hesitant once I heard how many students attend CSU, but the moment I came here for a tour, I knew this was where I belonged.
We are always trying to debunk the myth that the ONLY options for an English major are to become a writer, teacher, or work in publishing. What sort of possibility, potential do you see for yourself as an English major?
I always come up against this, though it is usually just teaching. Anyone I’ve ever talked to about my English degree has asked if I’m going to teach, which isn’t something I want to do. I do however want to be a writer, obviously. I already am a writer. But I know that that path is not the only direction I can go with my English degree. There’s a lot I can do. I also want to possibly work at a library. Not necessarily as a librarian, but I would love to help people find a new book that will become their favorite.
Knowing what you do about it, how would you describe the CSU English department to someone?
The CSU English department is great. There are a lot of different programs and resources and things to participate in. I feel like some of our programs are a little hidden. For example, when I talk to people about my job, they’ve never heard of the CLC before. It is understandable because I don’t know much about some of the other departments in our school but I think the English department is pretty cool and has things that even non-English majors would enjoy.
Why do you think the humanities are important?
The humanities are how we relate to people. The humanities are about communicating and creating empathy. When you look at graphs and numbers, it can be hard to relate to things like that (not saying there is anything wrong with the sciences), but the humanities create an experience, a human experience.
What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?
There are a lot of options in the English department and there are a lot of really good people. If you’re thinking about coming to CSU, just reach out to someone and I’m sure they would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the English department.
What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?
English classes are just a whole lot of reading and writing. It’s definitely overwhelming at times but if you take it one day at a time, you’ll be okay. Also, give yourself a break. Find something non-school related to do, like a puzzle or some other craft. Those are some general pieces of advice, so I guess specifically for English students: take advantage of the number of printing credits you have! We have more than the other majors because of how much we have to print. Also, the computer lab is on the third floor of Eddy, if you didn’t know.
What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing?
I haven’t been reading much outside of classes this semester, but I have been writing. I finished writing a four-part series that I’ve been writing since 2015 last December. I’m hoping to start revising it soon. The first three books of the series already have a second draft but the fourth book is the longest and will definitely need some work. But I’ve also started work on a new series since then. I started it in February and am currently writing about 700 words a day on it. I don’t know how to properly explain it here, but it’s a young adult fantasy novel, set in a medieval time with princesses and princes and magic and monsters.
What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
Writing, obviously. But I also love to read, when I have time. I also really like video games. I play simpler simulation games like The Sims or Stardew Valley, though I also like playing Minecraft with my little brother and sometimes I play World of Warcraft. I also love watching cooking shows, specifically cooking competition shows like Guy’s Grocery Games and Cutthroat Kitchen.
Where will we find you in five years?
Five years, wow. I’ll be twenty-six by then. I hope to be published or at least working toward being published. I will probably still be living in Colorado, maybe I’ll even still be in Fort Collins. I might be working at a library or in editing and publishing. I would also really love to maybe create a writing group or be able to teach some creative writing classes.