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Meet: Alicia Carter

What do you currently do (or plan to do), and how do the skills you acquired and practiced in the Writing & Linguistics courses benefit this plan?

I’m a graduate student at Mercer University in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. I’m also a freelance writer and editor. My plans for the future include becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor with specialties in individual and family therapy, as well as a novelist whose works address family dynamics, mental illness, social injustice, and metaphysics.

My Writing & Linguistics minor is a large part of the reason these plans exist, as I discovered the connections between my therapeutic and literary interests through the coursework. The skills I learned were instrumental in developing my craft, discovering the power of my voice, and realizing the implications of narrative for people both real and imagined.

Why did you decide to major/minor in Writing & Linguistics as opposed to other majors/minors?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had two dreams. The first is to write about families, communities, thoughts, and ideas that clash and reconcile. The second is to help families, communities, thoughts, and ideas reconcile, without all that clashing. As a result, I developed two passions and the problem of keeping both alive. Choosing to minor in Writing & Linguistics was my solution.

How well did your experiences at Georgia Southern prepare you for graduate school and/or employer demands?

I honestly can’t see how I would’ve gotten to where I am today without my experiences at Georgia Southern. For my first paying jobs, I drew heavily from the skills I learned in my Writing & Linguistics courses. When my most recent client informed me that she’d gotten a publishing contract, and thanked me for my assistance, I felt vindicated all over again for my choice.

On the other side of the spectrum, my majors in psychology and sociology prepared me for the research, professional identity building, and subject matter dimensions of my counseling program. By combining what I learned from all three departments, I’ve found that I get positive feedback on research papers, case study analyses, and essays for both content and style.

Is there a specific experience you’ve had in the Writing & Linguistics department that you would like to share?

Something Professor Sexton said in Fiction Writing left its mark on every narrative I’ve written since. Now, this isn’t a verbatim quote by any stretch of the imagination, but the gist of it was, “in order for us to care about characters reconciling, we have to know what was lost between them.”

This was epiphany-inducing for me because all of my creative work has its roots in reconciliation, whether it’s between people or ideas, and historically my major hurdle was that I’d dive right into the broken relationship without showing (or only marginally showing) why the reader should want it to be fixed. I’ve subsequently done my utmost to rectify that, and I think my work is better for it.

What advice would you give to students considering a major/minor in Writing & Linguistics?

If you’re considering a minor, just do it. You won’t find a more versatile supplement for your major, and you certainly won’t regret it. As for those considering the major, know this: if I could’ve had a third major, I would’ve chosen Writing & Linguistics without a second thought.

Last updated: 6/15/2018