Meet: Aleyna Rentz
What was the biggest factor in your decision to enroll at Georgia Southern?
- What informed my decision, more than anything, was that my older brother went here and my parents thought I should try applying to the Honors Program. I applied as an English major; the discovery of a writing major was a moment of serendipity. I was incredibly lucky.
Why did you decide to major in Writing and Linguistics as opposed to other majors?
- I decided to major in Writing and Linguistics because I believe you should study what you genuinely enjoy and want to spend the rest of your life doing. I’m not going to study something just because it’s more “practical,” or will ensure a bigger paycheck.
Which courses in what areas have been particularly valuable to you as a major?
- Creative writing gave me an overview of the different genres and introduced me to the major, while screenwriting helped me better understand plot. I’ve found that I really enjoy creative nonfiction, and the fiction course itself has helped me improve in my chosen genre.
How do you plan to apply your skills as a writer in your everyday life, and how did majoring in Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern allow you to develop these skills?
- Writing is a part of my everyday life, so I would say there’s a pretty strong correlation between my coursework and life outside of class. I now know how to get published and apply to MFA programs, and it’s all because of the professors I’ve met here.
What advice would you give to students considering a major in Writing and Linguistics?
- Think long and hard about this. Is writing merely something you enjoy, or do you think you have the talent and drive necessary to make a career out of it? This is a major for people who can’t see themselves doing anything but writing. I am in love with this major, but it isn’t for everyone.
Which professors in particular stood out to you as effective role models and guides to you as a student?
- Something I love about this department is the emphasis on one-on-one interactions with professors. As artists, this kind of personal feedback and encouragement is vital to our growth and development as writers. Professor Sexton always manages to carve out time to meet with students to discuss our writing, recommend books, assist with graduate school applications, and just get to know us. He’s extremely dedicated to his job and goes out of his way to make sure we’re getting the attention and help we need to succeed.
Are you a part of any student organizations or clubs within the major? If yes, what have those experiences been like? Do you recommend new students of the major/minor join such organizations?
- I’m an officer in the Writers’ Guild (I run social media, lead club meetings on occasion, etc.), and I think it’s a great club for all writers at Georgia Southern, regardless of major or minor. We try to bring literary events to campus, share information about graduate school programs, plan trips to writing conferences, and foster a community of writers.
Is there a specific experience you’ve had in the Writing and Linguistics department that you value?
- I’ve had so many positive experiences in this program that I can’t keep track. I have genuinely enjoyed every writing class I’ve taken and all the extracurricular activities一from Writers’ Guild meetings to just sitting in the writing lounge with my fellow writing students.
How well would you say your experiences at Georgia Southern have prepared you for graduate school and employer demands?
- Most schools don’t have writing majors, let alone free-standing writing departments, so I’ll be going into my MFA program with valuable workshop and classroom experience that others may not have. I would go so far as to say our program is a mini-MFA of sorts, but instead of focusing on one genre, we get to experience it all.
Last updated: 7/20/2016