Anderson Hall and how it shaped my perspective

As I wind down on my penultimate semester at Maryville College, I realize how much I have enjoyed my time here. Attending this school has been fun.

The time I have spent here has been short. I am a transfer student and only the latter half of my collegiate career has been spent here, but it has been fruitful.

I have had a wealth of opportunities laid out before me that many would probably put first on top of the “fun things in college” list.

This semester, I am preparing for my first trip out of the country this summer through study abroad. While I expect this to go in my top five of most fun experiences while attending Maryville, I can’t help but think of the joy I have had in the classroom.

I am a nerd who, despite the stress, loves school. If it were possible, I would attend college forever collecting various degrees.

Most of my schooling at Maryville College has been spent in Anderson Hall. As a writing communication major, I have spent plenty of time studying the various topics in the literature and languages department.

This is something I didn’t foresee in my future. In high school, I couldn’t imagine picking up a book and being able to dissect it using one of many critical theories. Beyond metaphors, symbolism and structure, my interpretations were extremely shallow. I did just enough to get a good grade.

I have always known words matter, but, before I got into my major classes, I didn’t understand the weight of a word’s history or its political functions.

I recently ran into my fifth grade teacher and was asked what I was up to these days. She said, “You’re a math major, right?”

When I told her that I majored in writing communication, she looked confused.

Growing up, I loved math just as much as I loved reading, which was a lot. I preferred my math-related puzzle books over coloring books and was excited to learn about new properties, formulas and theorems.

I considered majoring in math until I took a statistics course.

While statistics class was slowly and tortuously killing my love of the subject, my English teacher was finally making English interesting.

Once I began to be exposed to more complex topics in language and literature, it became as exciting as math.

I enjoyed this complexity. It made studying English fun.

My time in Anderson has made me hungry for more of this complexity. As I am deciding what I want to study in graduate school, I am finding myself considering criticism and theory, comparative literature, and even poetry.

Prior to attending Maryville, the practicality of my chosen discipline was my primary focus. Yes, I enjoyed going into depth about constructing sentences and short fiction, but I cared most about what concrete skills I could learn to land a job.

I can now separate my academic life into two eras: Pre-Anderson and Post-Anderson. I am grateful for my time in that hall, and I look forward to applying what I have learned there in the next phase of my life.

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