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Penn Admissions Blog

What is Independent Study?
Nina | August 23, 2017

One of the benefits of being a senior is the freedom that comes along with choosing classes. For the most part, you’re done with the most time-consuming courses, workload is lighter, and you have more opportunities to focus on topics of personal interest. For me, Fall semester has also signified the end of my minor with one final course.

When you minor in Creative Writing, you have to take two, more “traditional” English classes, as well as four creative writing workshops to fulfill the requirement. I’ve gotten the chance to take so many interesting and enriching courses that work into these categories – anywhere from a class on the history of film to a memoir writing class where we learned how to get our work published.

At the end of last semester, the head of the Creative Writing department (a former professor of mine), suggested that I use my last writing workshop as an independent study. An independent study is essentially a class composed of only you and a faculty member who oversees and guides the work you do.

Since the semester started, I’ve gotten the chance to read and write works of poetry based on a topic of my choice. Although I’ve felt very free to express myself in other writing courses, it’s incredible to know that this class is solely driven by what I’m interested in – which has been a really cool experience! It’s a class quite literally made for me.

Being a member of the writing community at Penn has been so fulfilling from the very beginning. It’s allowed me to work closely with professors who are published authors themselves, and to collaborate alongside other passionate and talented students.

I’m very excited to see where the semester goes and how I’ll grow as a writer!

About the author

I'm majoring in Nursing and minoring in Creative Writing. Although I grew up on a farm in South Jersey, my heart lies in the city. As for my campus involvement, I'm a dancer in Penn Masti, a radio DJ at WQHS Radio, and co-chair of Penn SNUGS (Penn Student Nurses Understanding Gender and Sexuality). I'm constantly caught in a daydream, have a passion for helping others, and plan on building myself an extraordinary life. Join me on my journey!

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.


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