Hi! My name is Amanda Koym and I am a senior in the Anthropology Department with certificates in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Creative Writing. Outside of the Orange Bubble, I split my time between my parents in Madisonville, Texas and Atmore, Alabama. My hobbies include following pop culture (but if my thesis advisor sees this, it's research- I swear!), cooking/baking, expressing my love of Mamma Mia! (the 2008 movie and its sequel), taking BuzzFeed quizzes, and making up elaborate travel fantasies that will happen one day. When I’m home during break, you’ll find me constantly bothering my cat and posting pictures of her on social media. You can find me around campus doing many things, but my favorites are sitting by the Freedom Fountain, going to Qdoba and Frutta Bowls, and just vining to music and wandering, or sometimes all three at once! Of course, whether at Princeton or home, I love reading. I try to mix up the topics and genres, but I usually come back to romantic comedies, horror/thrillers, and young adult lit. Hit me up for my current recommendations!
I came to Princeton for its creative writing program, with my only real experience being some mediocre fanfiction. Yet, I fell in love with the program when it turned my expectations upside down. I’ve learned to embrace both poetry and prose through advice from my instructors and my peers in workshops. The greatest impact I’ve had from the classes is the benefits to my academic writing. Creative writing is beautiful in that, even if you only take one class, you learn how to express your ideas in a way not taught in the writing seminars. Even if you feel like you aren’t good enough to take a class, or you feel like you shouldn’t try because you don’t want a certificate, you’ll be surprised! Nobody is placed by mistake. Creative writing is about needing an outlet and voice and the workshops are the perfect place for you to learn how to share.
It’s the need to share that attracted me to writing in the first place. I’m a first-generation, low-income student whose public schools did not fund the arts well. My love of reading turned into escapism which turned into fanfiction. (Those stories are no longer published on the internet, but I’m happy to talk to you about how the form is misunderstood!) The LCA has helped me see why my voice is important for diversity in the arts, giving me power to speak up for more stories about socioeconomic inequalities and dealing with mental health issues. Even now, I use my major and certificate in my writing to understand where my writing can lift others’ voices and empower those around me. If any of these topics interest you, or if you just want to chat, hit me up! I hate a cluttered inbox so I tend to reply pretty quickly.