Brian Cheung

This post is part of a small series of posts written by current Honors students about their experiences with the Honors Program. They will be talking about their classes, capstones, anything that pertains to their journey through the program!

By Brian Cheung ’15 MG/PC 

Any college freshman at any college will tell you they dread the introductory writing class. Unless you were one of the few lucky students to come into college with writing credits, you were kicking off your undergraduate career with a one-way ticket to the land of expository writing. Some schools call their intro class “expos.” At Syracuse, we call it WRT105. WRT105 knows no mercy, and discriminates against no one. Most majors, from finance to communications to engineering will have to check off the class on their degree check.

As an Honors student, I had the option of taking WRT109, the honors section of the class. And signing up for that section was easily the best decision I made in that first semester of my college experience. WRT109 was not the dry and painfully tedious introductory writing course I had thought it would be. It was a class of five people (including myself). Our class – actually I’ll refer to us as a group – met three times a week around a small wooden table.

Having such a small class allowed me to connect on a near one-on-one level with my professor. It was then that my professor challenged me not to become a better writer, but to become a better critical thinker and a better communicator of my ideas. It was clear from the beginning of this class that I was definitely not in a mandatory writing class; I was in a class that legitimately pushed me to become a better thinker.

WRT109 also allowed me to be in a group of intelligent and hard working students that motivated me to work even harder. The high-achieving caliber of my fellow students pushed me to increase the standard of work I held myself to.

In just my first semester, the Renée Crown University Honors Program was forcing me to question every conventional notion I had about introductory courses.

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