Madelyn Kittle: Finding a Home at App through Creative Writing

I transferred to Appalachian in the Fall of 2016 with my AA from Caldwell Community College. Before I got here, I had all intentions of being a Business major! It’s funny to look back on that now and see how App has helped me realize who I really am and what I want to do with my career. I quickly switched to English major with double concentrations in Creative Writing and Film Studies, and a Business minor and then upon realizing how many math classes I was in for, Sociology minor (math is really not my strong suit!). Over the Summer, I switched my minor again to Spanish (college is great for this ability it grants us to try out so many different things!). I say it’s funny, but what I mean is that I was following societal pressures to go into the major that I was told would make me the most money instead of following my passions into the major that would bring me the most happiness.

As a non-traditional student, it was hard at first to make friends, especially because I am around five to six years older than most of my peers. Sure, I was finally taking the classes I had always wanted to take, reading great literature and writing creatively for the first time since I was a child. But we have to balance a social life with work and school to remain healthy, functioning adults (or so they tell us, haha). Luckily, my creative writing professor Susan Weinberg had noticed I seemed “organized” (she really said this; to say the least I was shocked although honored and somewhat dubious) and asked me to start a writing club for other transfer students like myself.

Out of this request, Appalachian’s Creative Writers was born. I recruited some of my classmates and we started meeting once a week to collaborate on flash fictions and attend the author events on campus (like the Visiting Writers series). It was so nice to finally be around people who were passionate about the same things as me! This year, several more CW majors and minors have joined the group, and this may sound cheesy, but it has been such a great way to make friends! I also joined the Prose committee of App’s literary arts magazine, The Peel, and this year I am one of the assistant editors.

The amazing opportunities that I have been afforded as an Appalachian student are boundless. Last year, I submitted a story to the Marian Coe Scholarship contest and won prize money, and this year, two stories to the Truman Capote Scholarship contest and won prize money again! I would never have done this without the nurturing and encouragement of the English department faculty. They have recommended me for the English department Honors Program, which I am currently in, and to be a student ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. I even get to travel to Atlanta in November to the 89th SAMLA conference with some of my peers and one of my professors to read a paper I wrote in front of a room full of people!

It’s really easy to figure out your passion at Appalachian when you become a part of the family. The natural beauty is just a bonus to the way this school will help you shine.

Published: Sep 25, 2017 5:24pm