Interrupted plans lead to opportunity to pursue passion for writing

Interrupted plans lead to opportunity to pursue passion for writing

April 23, 2021

Amara Isom Karypis started at Anoka-Ramsey Community College as a PSEO student in high school. A self-proclaimed planner, Amara entered school with the next four years already mapped out.

“Community college is a great place to get started, experience college structure and discover what you would like to do with your life,” says Amara.

Taking advantage of the small class sizes and affordability allowed Amara to take as many courses as possible to support her long-term plan to transfer to Mankato State University for a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Zoology emphasis. And she did just that after completing an Associate of Arts degree and Business Administration certificate at Anoka-Ramsey.

“I like to do things as efficiently and as cost effective as possible,” said Amara.

Her time at Anoka-Ramsey wasn’t just about being efficient, the college provided a support system that Amara didn’t find at a larger school.

“During summer semesters I would often return to Anoka-Ramsey to take difficult courses that I knew would transfer to my university,” she said. “Taking these difficult courses at Anoka-Ramsey meant I would get more personal help on the subject.”

When Amara finished her four-year plan, she didn’t intend to return to school. She had internships lined up and those internships were supposed to lead to her career. What she couldn’t have planned for was graduating during a pandemic.

“The pandemic hit right before I graduated and all of my internships for my biology and zoology programs got cancelled,” said Amara.

Amara has had a passion for writing for a long time. So, instead of graduating and taking the summer off, she used the opportunity to return to Anoka-Ramsey to pursue an AFA degree in Creative Writing. “I am getting the degree so I could spend time to focus on my art and really hone my skills,” shared Amara. “I plan on writing novels in the future, but I’m not putting stake in their success. I want to create them for myself.”

The degree is proving to be more than a passion project for Amara. “Having a degree in creative writing aids in developing your communications skills, making things concise and wording things nicely,” said Amara, “those are soft skills that will help me in any future career.”

Once Amara finishes the Creative Writing program and the COVID-19 pandemic opens up more opportunities, she dreams of having a career working in the conservation or sustainability field as a project manager working on big picture issues that have an impact on animal welfare and the environment.

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