Senior | Chicopee, MA
Why did you decide to become an English major?
I really feel that I couldn't have been anything else. I’ve always loved books. When I was little, I would get reprimanded by teachers for reading in the hallways on the way to class or underneath the desk. It wasn’t until my seventh grade teacher stoked my passion for true literature, though, that I knew my future would involve pursuing English as a discipline. More than just my love of books, I have a heart for analysis; it genuinely excites me to constantly be discovering new things within a text.
What did you love to read when you were growing up?
My favorite two series growing up were The Babysitters’ Club and Magic Tree House as starter books. As a teenager, I was pretty mainstream. I loved the Harry Potter series, of course. In general, I loved fantasy for its use of the creative, but I was also drawn to certain dystopians like Uglies, Unwind, Among the Hidden, etc. in YA and classics like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. It was fascinating to see how these authors could take real issues and exacerbate them to the point where they became ridiculous but also grotesque. Dystopians are in line with satires, in a way, in that they let us look at our world through a distorted lens. I still have a deep appreciation for this genre.
What are you reading right now?
I’m trying to read more across genres to see what I can learn from wildly different authors. The two books that I’ve read recently that I liked the most are Less by Andrew Sean Greer and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. The former is an adult contemporary travel fiction and the latter is a young adult adventure period piece. So, it’s a mixed pot.
How was your creative writing capstone experience?
It was valuable. My classmates inspired me more than anything. Initially, I thought that we would be writing a novella as a part of the course, but that was not the case. However, two of my classmates had used excerpts from their novel or novella and both had written several more, which inspired me to write one as well. In general I had a great group and a great teacher.
What are some of your dreams, hopes, and aspirations for yourself after you graduate?
Mainly, I want to continue writing. It would be a dream come true to support myself on writing alone, but I also enjoy editing and reviewing and plan to do either or both of those as well. Somewhat related, I am also pursuing a Fulbright for the year after next as an ETA.
What do you consider the most rewarding part of being an English major?
Being an English major has exposed me to a world of such immense beauty and complexity. Authors and poets I would have never read on my own are now irrevocably stuck with me. I think about the world differently after my experiences. It has been a long and occasionally strange ride, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
What advice would you give to students considering majoring in English at NYU?
Do it because you love it. English, maybe more than any other major, is all about input. Mostly what you are taught in class is context, but the work is an interplay between your thoughts and whatever you are reading. Be invested. Also, as a major, expose yourself to different disciplines and filter everything you read through the entire scope of your knowledge, not just what you learn in one particular class, because nothing exists in a bubble. That is how you get the most out of a text and out of yourself.