Wash. U.’s lack of a writing major
As a first semester junior at Wash. U., there’s not much complaining to do when it comes to our school (well, besides the lack of parties on a typical Saturday night). The food is great—particularly the new Bear’s Den; we’re most likely the only university in the country whose dorms have Tempur-Pedic mattresses; and the professors are, for the most part, outgoing, friendly and interested in our success as students.
Unlike most students at Wash. U. (who spend relentless hours studying for their pre-med classes), I entered college not exactly sure of what I was truly interested in. However, after visiting what seemed to be every school in the country during my senior year of high school, I ended up choosing Wash. U. just for this reason. Its curriculum is incredibly flexible, and I was told that if a major didn’t exist, it wouldn’t be that difficult of a task to create it. Therefore, I came to school as an unsure yet optimistic student, ready to find out what my actual interests were.
After taking several business classes and realizing the major wasn’t for me, I enrolled in fiction writing, just to see what writing classes at Wash. U. were like. With the completion of this class, I came to discover my true calling in life: writing. I would major in writing and everything would be perfect!
Twenty-four hours and a visit to my advisor’s office later, my hope was shattered; Wash. U. doesn’t offer a writing major, only an English literature major. After hours of complaining to the English department and questioning my reason for being at Wash. U. entirely, I unwillingly accepted that I would have to settle for an English literature major. Although I have given in to the fact that I will major in literature and not writing, I have not given up on my belief that this major should be created. And, in my quest to investigate this matter, I have learned that a great deal of students feel the same way.
“Wash. U. prides itself on its flexible curriculum and has so much to offer its students in other departments. Therefore, I really don’t understand why it lacks a writing major,” says Sheila D’sa, a junior and English and psychology double major. “There are so many students who are interested in either fiction writing, creative non-fiction writing and even journalism, and the school is really limiting what these students can study.”
Having talked to other English majors, it’s obvious that I’m not alone, and I find comfort in the fact that my fellow students feel the same way. This doesn’t mean, however, that anything will be done. Rebecca Steur, a junior English and PNP double major is just one example of one of these students. “It’s really frustrating for me. I sometimes feel like Wash. U. has kind of given up on its students who are interested in writing.”
Although a writing major will most likely not be created any time soon, I still hope that the matter will be addressed further for the sake of Wash. U.’s future students.