Student Stories Behind Declaring A SWLF Major

Our students come to us from all over—even, sometimes, from unexpected majors. We wanted to highlight a special handful of recently-declared members of the SWLF-pack, many of whom originally intended to major in fields like Computer Science or Marine Biology, and dig in to what drew them to us instead.





Major: Creative Writing (Applied Journalism minor)
Class standing: Sophomore

This is a place that inspires Hannah’s writing. It's Camano Island, Washington and she loves to come here to relax, listen to the waves, and let the words flow from her mind to her pen and paper.




I majored in Marine Biology during the first two terms of my first year. Upon taking math and science classes, I realized that's not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn't want to sit in a lab all day, performing and calculating results but rather share these results with the world. I decided I wanted to be the voice of important things. I've always loved writing. I only took AP and Honors English classes in high school and was involved in a number of writing clubs. I realized how much I missed the written world when I took WR 121 as a requirement. I wrote an essay describing climate change and promoting change and I loved it. It re-sparked my passion for writing and I knew I had to change my major. Once I made the change, I was so relieved and felt happy again. I'm now excited for my future, with the goal of becoming a journalist who writes about important world issues and evoking change. I'm still exploring my interests so I felt like with a creative writing major, I will have a vast opportunity to do a lot of things in my life related to writing.

Since my major switch, I look forward to my classes and assignments. I've learned to love the act of learning again and I'm so passionate about my writing and my future career in this field. I've learned to think more creatively in and outside of school. I'm interested in joining some writing clubs and trying to engage in internships. So far, I've gotten a job at Orange Media Network as a sports writer for the Barometer and I'm interning for the Ben Goldfarb internship next term. I wouldn't know about these opportunities if it wasn't for the support of SWLF and my advisor, Liddy Detar.

Writing, Literature, and Film will likely forever be in our lives as it constantly makes such an impact. Whether you're writing hard news stories, writing romantic novels, or filming an action-packed movie, you're doing something worthwhile. These programs allow for future graduates to make change in the world through the act of writing and film producing. We are the people who get the word out. We're the ones who start to make the change. 





Major: Creative Writing and Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Sciences
Class standing: Freshman

Katie in her favorite writing place in the corner of her dorm, surrounded by flowers and light because nature inspires her to write!




When I came to OSU, I was absolutely determined to be a veterinarian. I came in as a biology major with an option pre-veterinary sciences. However, I quickly changed my major after taking an intro to veterinary medicine class–I didn’t love the career description and couldn’t see myself doing it. I also missed writing more than anything, which allowed me to see that I had to incorporate it into my life in some way or another. My dream has always been to make a positive impact in the lives of animals, but now I want to help through my love of writing and animal advocacy. Now I am doing both science and writing, two things I love most in this world, and I hope to study journalism someday!

After joining SWLF, not a day goes by where I don’t write. I started this term as a CW major, just dipping my toes in with a couple of classes. My first class was with my teacher, Paige Thomas, called Intro to Creative Nonfiction Writing. Before this class, I didn’t even know creative nonfiction was a genre, and now I’ve fallen in love with it. Paige has inspired me to write whenever I want; now, I’ll open up my journal and write about whatever topic has been on my mind, put it down, and come back to it later. It’s amazing how much this has already allowed me to improve my skills as a writer. My friend Natalie Harris, the editor-in-chief of OSU’s Prism Magazine, also inspired me to pursue a major in CW, and is now helping me get involved as a blog writer at Prism!

I’ve talked to quite a few people who don’t really “get” my major. I tell them how warm and inviting the arts community is; I’ve been a part of both the art and science communities for years now, and the arts community has been far more welcoming. I already feel like I can be myself within the SWLF. Here, I’m given the opportunity to explore my creativity without any given parameters, no box to be placed in when I’m writing. So, when people don’t understand my major, I tell them how much I love the community and everything it stands for.





Major: Creative Writing
Class standing: Junior

Cooper does all of his writing in his sticky note covered room. There's no place like home.




I transferred to OSU undecided before choosing a Computer Science degree. I spent two years studying CS while taking other classes on the side. I realized that CS didn't give me the creative outlet I needed. When I talked about classes with my friends or parents, I'd talk about my creative writing classes instead of what I was actually studying. I realized that switching to Creative Writing would allow me to get that creative outlet and was about something I already cared deeply about which is storytelling.

I'll tell you one thing, my day-to-day life is a lot less stressful since I'm studying something I actually care about. It's so much easier to learn and do well when you're already invested in the subject. Every class discussion and workshop is chance to think of things in a new way. I've met people with lots of different perspectives, which helps me understand not only them, but myself as well. How can you know what you believe unless you've heard the other side? In addition, I've joined the creative writing club, which has been a lot of fun, and I'm hoping to become a VP.

In many of the STEM fields I tried out, I felt confined. The creativity in those fields is not present at the entry stage. My tasks are clear and defined, which I do value, but it never felt like I did anything that was mine. With creative writing, I've had the opportunity to try things out more and hone something that's really important to me. Whenever I write a story for my classes, I can say it's mine. I'm not recreating something or getting an answer right. I made it, and I had a new experience trying to come up with something people haven't seen before. I just really like that.





Major: English and Creative Writing
Class standing: Junior

Andres reporting live from the LA Bowl game.




I came to OSU initially as an English and Education major, with the intent of becoming an English teacher. However, during the pandemic, I decided to drop my Education major, and instead added the Creative Writing major. I decided to add the creative writing major because I wanted to write more, and explore different forms of writing. I also wanted to have the opportunity to learn about how to publish my different writings.

My studies have impacted my day-to-day life because they have encouraged me to get every chance to write. I do my best to journal often, or when I can remember. And using the different techniques/strategies that I learned in class, I am able to challenge myself to become a better writer. At least for me, working with Orange Media Network, the student run media organization on campus, has allowed me to grow as a writer, a radio DJ, and as a broadcaster. And getting to write about sporting events is such a fun time! I use those different writing strategies that I learn about in class, and use them in my writings at OMN, which then get published in the school paper! 

I would explain the values of my program to my friends and family by saying that being an English major allows me to dissect texts and understand them more thoroughly, write and respond to texts more efficiently, and collaborate with my peers about different interpretations of the texts.





Major: Creative Writing (Business + Computer Science minor)
Class standing: Senior

Trinity’s writing space, including a desk gifted from Trinity’s father, a plethora of carefully collected knick-knacks and a current favorite read: Mindfulness by Ellen Langer. 




I originally entered OSU as a Computer Science major in the College of Engineering. I began my college experience in this major because I participated in several engineering and coding clubs in high school, and it felt right. However, that feeling did not last. I didn’t connect with my classes or the material the way others in my major were, and I knew something was wrong. Eventually, I realized Computer Science wasn’t the major for me, and I began the arduous process of choosing a new major and life trajectory. That transition was mentally and emotionally difficult, but after many, many talks with my peers, parents, and advisors, I decided that a Creative Writing major was the major for me.

The SWLF program has greatly impacted my day-to-day life. Having only recently changed my major, I am still getting used to the shift in content from a STEM-focused field to a Liberal Arts-focused field. The courses I’ve been taking since being admitted into SWLF have been some of the more enjoyable classes I’ve taken at OSU. I am constantly encouraged to think critically and voice my opinions on course content. Having discussions, interacting with a community of peers, and engaging thoughtfully with readings and lectures is incredibly important in SWLF. Since being admitted into this program, I’ve noticed an increase in my critical thinking skills, an improvement in my language skills (both written and spoken), and a boost in mindfulness.

The SWLF program lays down a strong foundation for your career goals and professional life. I’ve been incredibly supported by the advising staff in this program in my pursuit of a strong professional career after graduation. I am a Creative Writing major, and I plan to use this degree to land a job somewhere in the editing and publishing world. Writing and documentation is a method of communication that will not go away any time soon, and my goal is to facilitate the transfer of ideas and spread of knowledge. A major in Creative Writing gives me the necessary skills to do so. This program is giving me tools that I will use to impact the world in a positive way.