Fresh Insight into the Clemson English Experience: Perspective from a Technical College Transfer Student
Nicole Grumbos is a senior English major who transferred from Greenville Tech into the Clemson English program. Typically, when you think about transfer students, including the Bridge program, one could imagine them moving into a more “common or practical” major such as business, health science or even engineering considering Clemson’s program notoriety. Instead, Nicole has bravely identified the values and practicality in an English major that is often seen as otherwise. Therefore, Nicole’s journey can give a unique and valuable perspective to the Clemson English experience.
What college did you go to? How long?
I went to Greenville Tech my freshman year before I came into Clemson as a sophomore.
How/why did you start in a technical college?
Honestly, the main reason I started at Greenville Tech was because of its proximity to home. Going to Greenville Tech was a way for me to stay at home with my Mom while working and getting college credit towards somewhere like Clemson.
Did you know what you wanted to do while at Greenville Tech? What major did you have there?
Interestingly enough, Greenville Tech doesn’t really have majors. Instead, they have these clusters kind of like big umbrellas. I knew I wanted to be an English major, so I was in the Associative Arts group. But, I made sure that all of my classes transferred and knocked out lots of general education requirements while I was there.
How did you decide on becoming an English major? Who influenced you to become an English major?
I knew while I was in high school that I wanted to go into English. For me, English classes in high school were where I thrived the most, and when students didn’t like doing grammar or papers, I was loving it. I guess the reason for that is due to some really amazing English teachers in high school, and basically I just developed a really strong interest in the study.
How did your time at Greenville tech impact your decision?
For the most part, Greenville Tech did not affect my decision much at all. Being at a technical school didn’t exactly push me away from studying English in my future or anything like that. In fact, the only pushback I received was from my family members over the validity of something like an English degree.
Did you consider other schools besides Clemson considering Clemson is a STEM school for the most part?
Actually, yeah. I looked into both Anderson University and Clemson, both being close to my home. Ultimately though, I felt that Anderson was a little too small and just had a different feel than Greenville.
Were there any specific reasons Clemson stood out, including the English program?
Yeah, I’ve had siblings come through Clemson before, and just being from Greenville I’ve grown up with Clemson. Honestly, though, I didn’t really even look into the English department here at Clemson before I came. I just knew I wanted to do English at a school I liked.
What would you say to people who look down on English majors?
Lol, I would start by saying that I’m pretty non-confrontational, but I guess I would wonder why they were asking in the first place. At least from my point of view, I’ve worked just as hard as they have to get where I am, and I still feel as if I’m working hard now.
What is your favorite thing about being an English major?
Personally, I love having mostly discussion-based courses I know it is cliché, but when we get to sit in the circles and really talk about things with one another, I really enjoy it. Besides being super interesting, I feel that it makes it way easier to get to know people, which is also great.
Favorite class so far?
I would say my favorite class so far is a class with Professor Bree Beal about moral psychology. Besides being interesting, it was a genuinely awesome environment to learn in. I would add that my ENGL 3100 (Critical Writing) with Dr. Manganelli was a really great experience.
What are your plans for the future?
I would love to stay close to home and work for a local magazine or online publication doing editorial work!
Do you think your studies have prepared you for “real life”?
Hopefully. I would say that I feel like I’ve learned things that have not only helped my studies but also myself as a person. Plus, I’ve had the opportunity to get some really valuable internships while I’ve been at Clemson. For example, I’ve gotten to work on an online magazine called Tothshop and a local magazine in Greenville called Town. By getting to do interviews, advertising work, and actual article writing on all sorts of topics such as heating and cooling companies or even women’s history, I learned what it was really like to work on a monthly publication!
How has transferring shaped your Clemson experience?
It can be kinda hard to say. I would say that I definitely have a better academic footing than if I would have just come in as a freshman into Clemson, and I even had several classes with mostly freshmen my first year here. It was a little challenging to participate in clubs or apply to something like a sorority, but in my head, transferring from Greenville Tech is just something I did to study English at a school I love.
By Will Gordon