Dear Future Creative Writing Student,

Hi! I’m Dylan Nanjad, and I’m writing to give you a sort of heads up about this class. I chose this class because I had never taken anything like it before, and I was excited to try something that was new. It turned out to be so much more than just some challenging exercises. The prompts we were given urged me to look further into myself than I had before, and put me on a path to self discovery. Writing the assignments became a form of catharsis for me, and I loved it. Two of my favorite assignments were the second short story and poems. The short story had to be based off of a personal experience, and it helped me reconnect with the reason that I love telling stories. It had been a long time since I felt that joy, and revisiting the memories and adapting them brought it back.

The poetry assignment took me completely by surprise. I’ve never been a fan of poetry, and went into this section with zero expectations. But Professor Penner provided a source of prompts that made me pause and think. Something I haven’t ever done before when attempting to write poems. The poems I ended up writing turned out to be an expression of myself, my hopes, passions, quirks, and pitfalls. They helped me get closer to being the best me I can be. And honestly, that’s all I could ask for.

Keeping up with the classes while online was pretty hard for me. I have no sense of time, especially when I’m at home, so there were quite a few close calls with deadlines. Professor Penner sends consistent emails though, and those are life savers. If you really struggle though, I’d recommend having a partner so that you both can stay on top of each other. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. That would’ve improved the quality of my experience tenfold.

This class did something special for me. It encouraged me to think about the person I was, am, and want to be. The work was never stressful: it was therapeutic. It taught me that sometimes what you need to do is sit down, and be present. Acknowledge how you feel, what you think, and explore that aspect of yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask why. Don’t be afraid to ask. Honestly, it’s helped me grow more as a person than any other class I’ve ever taken. I’m grateful for that. I don’t have any grand plans or anything after finishing this course, but the tools it gave me won’t ever get old.