Sitting in a circle of students, I listened to the happy chatter as my professor prepared for class. Suddenly, one student burst into the room and announced his record time. He had been running to grab food between classes the whole semester, and today was his fastest sprint. All eight of us doubled over with laughter, and my poor professor was drying her eyes while trying to start class—just another day in Professional Writing and Information Design (PWID) classes.
When I chose the PWID major, I had no idea I was joining a community of students with their own hilarious traditions, amazing events, and running jokes. Turns out, PWID has all those things and more.
My first PWID class was a bit scary. I had no idea what the professor would be like, and I didn’t know any other students. To make matters worse, we all sat in one big circle for discussion, fondly called the circle of trust. But as the semester progressed, we grew close. The discussions allowed us to hear from each other and get to know each other’s passions and interests. Sometimes we got a bit off track with the discussions, ranting about fonts or a book series (yes, we are writing nerds at heart), but that made it even more enjoyable.
As I advanced in PWID, group projects allowed me to meet even more people in the major. To get our projects done, we would meet in the evenings and work together, sometimes spending more time laughing than we did working. But I made so many sweet memories those nights as we learned writing and design principles together.
Now, the 10 minutes before class is one of my favorite times of the day. The classroom is filled with conversation as we all catch up. It’s a prime time for quotes as we write down funny things everyone says and add them to our shared quote book.
It’s also a great time for announcements. Recently, my friend mentioned that she’d been offered a summer internship. The whole classroom erupted in shrieks and congratulations—you would have thought someone got engaged. But we were all so excited for her we just had to celebrate. It’s those little moments that make PWID special.
PWID community goes beyond the classroom, too. We have an org for all PWID students called the Society of Professional Writers (SPW) where we get together for parties and professional development events. We have a Halloween party when the professors pull out a broom and stump us all with a mysterious pattern guessing game. And we have other get-togethers, like game night, the Christmas party, internship reports, and the awards banquet—my personal favorite.
At the awards banquet, we get to celebrate our accomplishments and the Lord’s blessing from the school year. We share pictures and favorite quotes from the year, and we sometimes play a “who said it” guessing game with the quotes. As the professors hand out awards, I’m always reminded that the long school year, even if it was hard, was full of many good laughs, unforgettable moments, and new friends.
In or out of the classroom, the PWID program has a remarkably close community. No matter what career I choose after graduation, I’m so grateful the Lord led me to PWID. Through my classes and group projects, the Lord has provided some of the sweetest memories and dearest friends, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Those 10 minutes before class are priceless.
If writing, editing, or design interests you, come join us! You too can sit in the circle before class and watch the fun unfold.
About the author
Alease Brier is a junior Professional Writing and Information Design Major.