English advice for the underclassmen

With my junior year approaching quickly, I have realized how rapidly my years as an English major at Monmouth College have flown by. It feels as though it was just the other day I was visiting campuses, filling out scholarships, and trying to find that perfect fit for me. Coming in as a freshman English major here at Monmouth, I was a little nervous, as I am sure many students are. Looking back at my two years, I have thought about what I would have liked to know as an underclassman trying to balance new experiences and delving into the English major.

So far, the courses I have taken here in the English Department include Introduction to English Studies, American Survey I and II, British Survey I and II, Grammar, and Writing Fellows. The hardest class for me was probably English 200 (Intro to English Studies). Without knowing what I was signing myself up for, I registered for Writing Fellows, Intro to English Studies, American Survey II, and British Survey II at the same time during my second semester as a freshman. Little did I know just how tough my first English classes in college would be. While writing papers for Professor Watson and Professor Hale, I was still attempting to grasp the concepts in English 200 with Professor Belschner.

My spring semester of my first year of college was definitely the most difficult, so I would—without a doubt—recommend that first year students not take so many English courses at one time, especially those who are just entering the program. As for advice regarding the English classes in general, I would recommend taking careful, detailed notes, completing ALL the assigned readings, participating in class discussions, getting an early start on papers, and asking tons of questions. Writing notes in the margins of the different texts also really helped me out as I went along in my courses. Not only did I perform better in my classes when I participated and completed all of the readings, but I was also able to pull more experience and knowledge from the courses.

I would also recommend meeting with professors to talk about the class or any concepts that are misunderstood; the entire English Department is always very supportive of its students and is more than willing to help or discuss the literature with students. English courses here at Monmouth College are not meant to be easy, but they are definitely worth the work!

 -Alyssa Riley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *