Things I learned

Image: Chris Ford

For the most part, my first semester at Stony Brook Southampton is over. After careful consideration, I’ve got to admit I learned more than I had given myself, or the program, credit for. But the most important thing I’ve learned is something I have to constantly remind myself of: this is a personal journey.

There’s tons of bull shit in this world, and MFA programs are no exception. Who gets funding and who doesn’t, who cares and who slacks off, who writes like they mean it.

I let myself get wrapped up in it. And the truth is, I was the only one who suffered for it. You’re not at an MFA program to write better than the person sitting next to you. You’re not at an MFA program to decide who should get funding and who should take out loans. You’re not at an MFA program to bitch about all the injustices of administrative bull shit.

You’re at an MFA program to learn how to be the best writer you can possibly be. Anything other than that just doesn’t matter. So sit down, shut up, and write like a mother fucker. Cuz ain’t no one else gonna do it for you.

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