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Major Moment: Creative Writing with Sofia Azuara '25

Hometown: Houston, TX
"Trust yourself, you know what you like and what you don’t like. You know what works for you. Whatever you decide on will be worthwhile."

"Trust yourself, you know what you like and what you don’t like. You know what works for you. Whatever you decide on will be worthwhile."

Sofia Azuara ‘25 (she/they), is a Creative Writing major from Houston, Texas. In addition to being a Tour Guide and Intern for Enrollment Communications, she is a Hall Advisor and a board member of The First Page —the Tri-Co Creative Writing Association. She is also a member of the Mujeres* and Zami+, affinity groups on campus. Here, Sofia tells us about her journey to declaring a Creative Writing major. 

Did you enter college knowing what you wanted to major in? How have the classes you have taken at BMC either confirmed your interest in the major or surprised you with a new interest? 

When I arrived at Bryn Mawr as a first year, students only had the option to study creative writing as a concentration within the English major or as a minor, it was not yet an established major. I had come in with the expectation of declaring an English major, but in the fall of my sophomore year I was fortunate enough to take Narratives of Latinidad with Professor Jennifer Harford Vargas. Bryn Mawr's English classes can be writing-intensive, and I had mentally prepared myself for a semester of papers. I was pleasantly surprised to see on the syllabus an option to turn in a creative project in place of an essay. By the end of the semester, I had created zines and poems inspired by our academic readings.  I continued to take classes in the English department and although I enjoyed them, I began to feel limited — Professor Vargas’s class had opened my eyes to how expansive learning could be. 

Favorite class you’ve taken for your major?   

My favorite memory comes from my Short Fiction I class. For our final project, we were assigned to create a video based on a short story— something we wrote in class or an existing short story. A bit intimidated by the task at hand, I decided to look towards things I was familiar with to ground myself. I am an avid crafter and an enjoyer of theatre, and both interests led me to select a piece of flash fiction I had written for a previous assignment where I mentioned the ballet Pulcinella. The story follows the character Little Pumpkin Patsy and her two fathers. She recounts her dreams of becoming a prima ballerina to one of her father’s Papa Pine while on a walk, and the two come home to Pa Peanut, who hates going out in the cold. Through the power of familial love, Little Pumpkin Patsy and Papa Pine convince Pa Peanut to go outside with them. 

I ended up recreating a set from a previous stage production of Pulcinella and making the characters from the story with construction paper. Through some self-taught puppeteering, I had Little Pumpkin Patsy dance to a number in the show and tried to get it as close to the actual choreography as possible. It ended up being so much fun and allowed me to tell the story in a new inventive way. 

What experiential learning opportunities have you had connected to your academic interests? 

My professors are always sure to keep their students in the know regarding the local literature scene as well as publication tips and tricks. Since the very first class I took with Prof. Sanam Sheriff in my sophomore year fall, they have recommended that their students attend The Philly Pigeon. The Philly Pigeon is a poetry show held on the first Friday of every month in Center City Philadelphia. I did not take her up on the advice until a year later in the fall of my junior year, when a few classmates from previous creative writing classes and I ventured into the city in the group to attend. The show is split up into four sections: an introduction to the show by the hosts, an open mic, a guest poet reading/Q&A, and the night ends with a few rounds of poetry-related games. Some of those games include writing and performing poems on the spot made up of audience-suggested words.  

My friends and I attend when we can. It’s such a fun way to spend the evening and you get to be in the presence of such incredible writers. One of the hosts is even the current Philadelphia Poet Laureate! Maybe next month my friends and I will throw our names into the open mic hat.   

What advice would you give to a first year on the process of declaring a major(s)?  

Take advantage of the flexibility available through Bryn Mawr’s Approaches to Inquiry. Enroll in classes that sound even remotely compelling to you, even if they’re not in a department where your academic interests typically lie. Trust yourself, you know what you like and what you don’t like. You know what works for you. Whatever you decide on will be worthwhile. 

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