Sophomore Lani Prunés had no trouble picking out a major at EMU, saying, "What job does not need a writer in its office, company, or space station?" Photo by Jon Styer.

Writing Major Offers Real World Prep for Many Fields

The following article is republished from The Weather Vane, the student newspaper of Eastern Mennonite University.

Hello. My name is Lani, and I am a writing major. No need to be alarmed. I am just like you, only one day I’ll graduate with a major so superior, interviews will be held in banquet halls around tables laden with nectar and ambrosia, and all job offers will be inscribed on gold flecked parchment.

Do not believe me? Stop and think of how important writing is in our daily lives. We write papers and essays. We write labs and reports. We write notes, letters, and e-mails creating excuses as to why we missed class on Monday at 8 a.m. Professors write lectures and assignments, and we respond to them with notes and reading-responses.

Besides speech, smoke signals, and body language, like the indications the awkward sophomore in your life wellness class wants to be more than project partners, writing is a huge part in how we communicate with one another. One spelling mistake signals “jbdkds,” or juvenile skill, and longer flowing language points to one having a vast knowledge of the English language, hence creating the manifestation of an intellectual.

Being a writing major means I get to take truly enjoyable classes, such as Creative Writing and Poetry, as well as classes with more broad subjects, such as News and Feature, which covers a span of professional writing styles, not just journalism.

Being one the first to pick up the major, I had not a single moment of doubt. What job does not need a writer in its office, company, or space station? Writing majors can find employment in advertising, business, and counseling; and those are just the beginning of the alphabet of opportunities. There is teaching, the sciences, law, and just about every establishment could use a trustworthy editor for all its publishing needs.

Still not sold? Consider this: the writing major can fit in with any other major you might wish to pair it with. With only 36 credit hours, the major was designed to be an adorable younger sibling of your larger major, rather than an obnoxious older sibling fighting for attention and credit time. If you’re an English major, you will have already noticed how simple it is to pick up the Writing major, as quite a number of the classes correlate and weave together effortlessly.

Writing majors can do internships that can easily be organized in conjunction with a communications degree, such as work on EMU’s literary magazine, the Phoenix, the Shen yearbook, or the Weather Vane, one of the finest news establishments this side of the woods. I am currently doing an internship for my communications minor, and what am I doing? Writing. All of the internships above, while fun and extracurricular, can also be participated in for credits. Many of the above also happen to have fantastic advisors, have great music played during gatherings, and pizza is often fed to its staff. For these alone should you consider a change in life goals.

At the end of last semester, I was accepted into a program called Kairos Place, a week long writing retreat in a beautiful decked out cabin nestled in the countryside, complete with home theaters (yes, plural). Those of us accepted spent well over six hours a day writing in different parts of the cabin on our respective projects, interrupted for delicious meals we took turns creating. In the evenings we relaxed and played games and music. Being a writing major meant the possibility of receiving credit to have a week of free writing and great food.

Thanks to short hand texting and spell check, decent writers are about as hard to come by as succinct history professors. The reason universities have college writing on their core curriculums, and why EMU has writing intensives, is because it appreciates the importance of writing as a part of academia and understands its importance both in and outside of a university setting.

As students and faculty, we know the difference between a paper written on three hours sleep, and one given time for proper research, editing, and care. This understanding of the power of writing extends to the professional world; being eloquent in both speech and text extends to that world, and is important whether you’re creating proposals for a new business, crafting a lesson plan for high school algebra, or handing in an article on why being a writing major was the best decision I could have made in my four years here.