One of the most difficult decisions you will make in your early years of college is your major and your minor. Many people will tell you not to worry about it, but you will. I know I did. Becoming a creative writing minor was the easiest decision of my life. Below is a list of reasons why I became a creative writing minor in the hopes that it will help you decide what major and minors are right for you, and even better, help you fall in love with creative writing.
1. I can express my creativity.
My favorite part about the creative writing minor is the lack of restriction. The only guideline is the medium of storytelling, and anything else is fair game, which allows full creative control and self expression. Not all majors or minors will give you this opportunity, and that's OK. Make sure you pick a path that feels natural, whether that is more or less creative.
2. Readings are all interesting and meant to be enjoyed.
I have had my fair share of mind numbing reads as an English major, so the many entertaining books I've read for my minor has been a breath of fresh air. It has been a helpful reminder that reading is meant to be fun and not torture. These readings inspire me to be not just a competent writer, but an entertaining one too! Remember that a minor can be a subject you enjoy and not just a career choice.
3. I was able to build a community.
I have met many friendly faces in my creative writing classes, many of whom I still talk to today. I also know I could reach out to any of my professors for general advice or even letters of recommendation. When looking for which major or minor is the best fit for you, make sure it has a community that will guide and support you through college and beyond.
4. I receive student feedback.
While for some, this is a negative, I appreciate that both students and teachers alike are encouraged to give feedback. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by supportive students who helped me grow as a writer. If you want to create works that are peer reviewed, than this minor, or any writing based major, would be a good fit for you.
5. Many unique experiences
In order to write creatively, many professors take a creative approach to the classroom, which includes guest speakers, trips to art and history museums and extra credit for attending writer festivals in NYC. Make sure whatever major, or minor, you decide on will give you opportunities to take your education beyond the classroom. You can only learn so much in a vacuum.
6. I receive guidance on how to be published from professionals.
Often, at Rutgers, many of my professors are published writers, poets and playwrights. This makes their advice on how to survive the writing world outside of college extremely valuable. This is one of THE most important things to establish once you have decided on your major or minor. Your professors should be able to guide you on how to apply what you have learned towards a successful career after college.
7. I am encouraged to explore outside my comfort zone.
In order to complete Rutgers' creative writing minor, one has to attend a wide variety of classes from multi-media composition to play-writing. This has pushed me to grow as a writer while exploring the best way to tell my story. Variety is inherent to creative writing, so if you are looking to not branch out too far, a creative writing minor is not for you.
8. Many supportive professors
I have had many important people in my life tell me that a creative career is to be avoided. Their advice was all meant to steer me down a less risky path, but it caused me to stifle my creativity. However, when I got to Rutgers, I had many professors who encouraged me and helped me to embrace my creativity. They were honest, too and were not afraid to tell the class that being a writer meant a life of rejection. Regardless, they still encouraged us to follow our hearts even if the path we chose was risky.
9. The ability to make your voice heard
One of the best parts of my minor is that it allows students to have a platform to tell their stories. I was encouraged to be honest and heartfelt in my writing, and I always felt listened to. It helped me to realize that I want an audience; I want my stories to be read and my experiences to be shared. The same just couldn't be accomplished by punching numbers in a cubicle. If you want to make your inner self heard, then a creative writing minor is for you.
10. The diversity of stories
When a whole class is given a platform to share their stories, you are able to have the unique opportunity to hear about the many experiences of your fellow classmates. Now, that kid who sits in the middle chair over to the right is a whole other person with experiences both similar and different to your own. If you want to immerse yourself in the world of the students around you, then perhaps consider minoring in creative writing.