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Getting Creative Around U of T

I like to think I’m a creative person, but not in the traditional sense. I can’t draw or sing (although, I wish I could), but I do enjoy photography and creative writing. In high school, I took a course called “The Writer’s Craft,” which established what I had already known about myself — I wanted to continue creative pursuits for the rest of my life. U of T has a variety of creative writing options through coursework, independent studies, clubs, organizations, and work opportunities. Writing for Life @ U of T gives me the opportunity to not only give you all a glimpse into my life as a U of T student, but it allows me to express myself creatively in a way that isn’t essay writing (which I am thankful for the break from). I pursued a Ones program course in my first year that focused on writing creative non-fiction (a new and exciting genre for me!), and I also write regularly for a campus publication.

Picture of New City Hall

A picture of City Hall from my photography portfolio! One of my main interests besides creative writing.

U of T has several programs and courses that allow you to study not only creative writing, but also other technical aspects of writing. In particular, U of T offers the Writing and Rhetoric program and the Creative Expression and Society program, which are both minors. There are also clubs like Hart House’s Literary and Library Committee, which offers events regarding writing and publishing as well as the opportunity to help plan those events. I recommend checking U of T’s writing website for information not only on creative writing, but also for academic writing support and other services. There is also a weekly drop-in program called Write Now! offered by the Academic Success Centre that meets twice a week! With so many academic and personal development options offered at U of T, I found it extremely easy to fit into the writing community.

My majors are English and Book & Media Studies, which are distinctly unique programs that allow me to explore my literary interests in an academic setting. Although they are not exactly the same as the creative programs I’ve mentioned above, I have heard great things about the courses in those programs. Two of my biggest passions are literature and media/communications. In particular, the courses offered by both of these departments have allowed me to challenge myself as a writer to develop my skills. In a few of my courses, I’ve been presented with the option to pursue a creative project (e.g. writing a short story, poetry, or creating a performance piece), in place of writing the final essay. I hadn’t heard of that sort of option before, especially in an academic course, so it’s an opportunity and challenge that I definitely want to pursue. I personally think that this is an assignment format that could definitely be explored more! If you’re searching for help with academic writing, the U of T writing centres have been an immense source of information and guidance for me over the years.

Picture of a typewriter

I actually have a typewriter, but don’t use it often. (Source: speedywriter.net)

Taking time to explore my creative interests has been an immense source of joy for me. Whatever it is, take time to explore what makes you happy. We’re officially in what I like to call “March Madness” and even though there are a ton of things to do before the end of the school year, I’ve gotten better at achieving what I sought out to do in the beginning of the school year: find balance. Until next week, everyone!