I am an unconventional undergraduate student. I went out into the real world, decided I didn’t like it that much and came back to Towson to beef up my armor before returning to the fray. As such, that also makes me a somewhat unconventional Grub Street staff member. Aside from the occasional reference gone astray and a funny sideways glance when I mention my husband, I don’t think that I stick out overmuch. I have, however, been thinking about what makes me different from a more traditional undergrad and, moreover, what I might bring to the table that’s an asset rather than an oddity. All of this is in the hopes that another student might see the same qualities in themselves and decide to take a chance on Grub Street as well.
One of the big benefits I’ve found is that, because I know a little bit more about what I want to do after I graduate, I’m able to see the value in what Grub Street offers. As a result, I am invested in the process, perhaps more than if I just saw it as a class. I know that the skills that we learn in putting out a full-scale publication are transferable to so many areas of the public arena. Yay for learning real-life skills!
Additionally, with just a little bit of extra life under my belt, I’ve found that it is easier to be unabashedly interested. I’ve lost a lot of the inhibitions that come along with the first go-round of college and am no longer ‘too cool to care.’ To be fair, I feel like there is less of that in general as an English major, but, no matter how you slice it, caring about grammar is nerdy, and I genuinely don’t care.
Finally, I think one of the biggest assets that someone with an unusual path to Grub Street brings is a different worldview. One of the principal jobs that we have during the spring semester is making the final selection for the pieces that make up the Grub. While all of the pieces that are submitted have their own merit, it is easy to get sucked into wanting to publish pieces that you identify with the most. Having someone with slightly different perspective can help to see the distinct ways that a piece might warrant publication that may perhaps otherwise be overlooked.
So, if you’re here reading this because you are building your schedule and wondering what Grub Street is and if it’s right for you, maybe instead think about what it is that makes you unique and what you could bring to the party – because, at the end of the day, that’s what makes Grub Street so great!
Grub Street Team Member
The image above is "Flight" by Gillian Collins.