When I began undergrad as a freshman at Sacred Heart University, I fully intended to be a communications major and go on to study journalism. Since I could remember, I had an immense passion for writing and I knew no matter what I would be doing, I wanted to be writing. I needed to be writing. Journalism seemed to be the right path for this and so I began that journey with taking the first intro elective class for the major in my first ever semester. Of course, the class focused on the history and culture of media, a broader umbrella in which journalism falls under. It didn’t quite feel right.
For my first-year seminar class I took Poetry and Personality with Dr. Jonas Zdanys, a now retired Professor Emeritus at SHU and at his core, an incredible and experienced poet. A man who quite literally changed not only the trajectory of my undergrad studies but my life. After having read and graded an essay assignment I completed for the class, Dr. Z pulled me aside curious as to why I wasn’t an English major. He told me, “We would love a writer like you in the department.”
Next semester and the beginning of my sophomore year, I registered for English electives. I rented The Norton Anthology of English Literature for my American Experiences class with Dr. Loris, which I seemingly forgot to return to the bookstore and am now so glad to own as it sparked my incessant fascination with the art of language, literature, and writing.
Since then, I have ceaselessly been enveloped in the undeniable capacity of literature in presenting the intersection between creativity, rawness, intellectuality and the often crippling, consuming, grieved, and achingly beautiful human condition all through the riveting power of language.
I have met some of the most awe-inspiring, supportive, challenging, and engaging professors which I have had the privilege of not only receiving knowledge I never expected to seek so greatly, but the privilege of knowing them as individuals, as people. In so much, that I was lucky enough to experience their practice of language, to read their work that in countless ways rendered the truest aspects of themselves, their own human condition.
Pursuing a degree in English has been one of the most trying, expansive, enriching ventures of my life and to say that I don’t feel a dreaded sadness within myself that its coming to an end, well, I couldn’t. However, the profound gratitude I harbor for the ability to carry this experience as a part of me forever surpasses that sadness tenfold.