For many, the college experience includes dorm life, club meetings, and late nights studying at the library. And, of course, choosing a major.
One of the best decisions I’ve made in college is to major in creative writing & literature, one of several RC majors open to all LSA students. From workshopping writing with other students in seminar-style classes to working one-on-one with faculty mentors in tutorials, my creative writing and literature major has given me the necessary guidance, experience, and practice to grow as a writer. Receiving individualized feedback on personal projects from knowledgeable, supportive faculty members has been an incredible experience afforded by my RC major.
There are many benefits of an RC major. The RC has a ratio of 15:1 students to faculty members, and many classes have an average of 9-20 students. The RC’s encouraging, multidisciplinary environment is perfect for fostering discussion and encouraging individual projects and initiatives. As such, students can feel supported by the RC in their academic pursuits. They also get ample opportunities to get to know their peers and instructors. Personally, I’ve formed close relationships with several of my RC professors the past few years. This was especially true during my first two years living in East Quad, as many RC instructors teach and have offices in the same building that is home to the RC's two-year live-in requirement.
Pursuing an RC major is an enriching, enjoyable experience; however, RC students are by no means limited to the RC. While many RC students earn double majors and participate in programs such as Honors or UROP, they are not required to pursue an RC major or minor. In fact, each student chooses how involved they are within the RC. Depending on their schedule and interests, a student may decide to participate in a bunch of RC clubs and classes, but they can also just fulfill the essential requirements. There's no need to fear being isolated or limited, as students have access to the university’s vast array of resources in addition to the incredible community and experiences of a small, liberal arts college. For me, the RC has been an incredible place to foster my interests and friendships, but I am also involved in all kinds of things outside the RC! This includes – drum roll, please – pursuing a second major and a minor outside of the RC.
While I love my studies in creative writing and literature, I also have other interests. For one, I have a minor in Asian languages and cultures, which I was inspired to do based on my experiences studying Japanese in the RC’s intensive language program. For both employability and intrinsically motived purposes, I also decided to elect a second major in sociology. My studies in sociology, with some extra coursework in statistics and data science, fit my future career goals and eventual graduate studies. With more than 85 majors, sub-majors, and other degree programs in LSA, sociology and the broader social sciences represent a small piece of U-M’s largest college. Plus, with two majors and one minor, I still have room to do an honors thesis, research, and a sociology of health and medicine sub-major. This is made possible due to the plethora of academic and extracurricular opportunities available to students, both inside and outside the RC.
What can I do with majors in sociology and creative writing and literature, you may ask? The humanities and social sciences sometimes get a bad rap, but I assure you I’ve taken employability into account. College, including the experiences and competencies related to your major, can be impacted by what you make of it. From communication skills to methodology skills, the skills I’ve gained from my majors and University of Michigan degree give me confidence for the future. Whether it be an LSA major or an RC major, my advice to you would be selecting a major that balances financial viability with your personal preferences and interests. Good luck and Go Blue!
About the author
Elizabeth Schriner is a junior majoring in Sociology and Creative Writing & Literature with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures. She is currently pursuing two honors thesis - one for each of her majors - and is a research assistant through the Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunity program (SURO). She is also a tutor for the RC Japanese intensive language program, the same program she began in as a freshman in the RC. Outside of academics, she writes for WTF Magazine, Michigan in Color, and Arts, Ink. She is also an RC Mentorship Among Peers (MAP) mentor, an RC ambassador, and a member of the UM Women's Glee Club. She initially joined the RC to have a small, liberal arts college experience and has since formed strong friendships and found a community to call her own.