I’ve already written a post about why it’s good to have activities outside of engineering, but right now I’m going to talk more specifically about my favorite extracurricular: Adsum literary magazine.
One of my goals in life (aside from world domination) is to be a novelist. Not necessarily as my primary source of income (at least not to begin with, I would love to eventually work from home in my pajamas, though), but definitely throughout my life. Part of what I love about being on Adsum, particularly as co-Editor-in-Chief is that I get to see all different levels, kinds, and styles of writing and I get to help other writers at USC display their work and share it with their friends and peers. I love reading other people’s work and finding those pieces that really stand out.
Aside from the editorial aspects, though, I like creating the physical book. Currently, Adsum has an annual publication model where we publish a physical book once a year. This year I get to work out the layout of the book, which means I get to design how the book looks on the inside. It doesn’t seem like that would be very creative because books are fairly standard: cover, text, paper. But a literary magazine is shorter than what we would typically think of as a novel, so there’s more place to be creative in the design of the book in terms of how the text is laid out. There’s especially room to be creative in how pictures and art are displayed as well. I’m not generally a visual art/graphic design person, but for some odd reason I love layout.
Adsum is a great way for me to explore my love for writing without having to enroll in a creative writing class. I get to maintain control over my creative process and get to see others’ at the same time. It’s genuinely fun, especially when I see my friends’ work and get to help show the rest of the world how talented they are.