By Heidi Hannoush, Undergraduate Intern
Sophomore Alexis Dumain finds an outlet for her curiosity through her double major in Psychology and English and Comparative Literature.
The two degrees work in harmony to help Alexis study her passion for human behavior. “English and Comparative Literature are like the buffet of human experience and psychology validates that and specifically applies it to how we can help other people,” she says. Alexis is able to pursue this interest in creative writing classes.
Independently, she explores the idea of humans as natural storytellers and the use of narrative therapy in curative processes. As a possible budding psychologist, Alexis believes this intersection could be valuable in clinical settings, but also in everyday life to increase engagement with the world and people around us.
Alexis says her English classes have helped her recognize “that you can be an expert in your own experience.” Individual interpretation is a valuable skill for self-reflection. An English course she is taking this semester, “Life Writing”, has challenged Alexis to study how her experiences influence her interpretation of events and the person who she is today. She describes this thought-process as beneficial to her personal relationships and enriching in living a more aware, intentional life.
In addition to allowing her curiosity to flourish, the ECL department has given Alexis a sense of belonging. From the creative and intelligent people to professors who make themselves available to help students grow, Alexis says, “that has made me have a tether to UNC where I can say I am proud to go here because there is a certain quality of experience I am getting out of it.”
This semester, Alexis is participating in an independent study ECL class, researching the horse-human relationship in texts. “I am really appreciative that my mentors and the people in the department have been very trusting of me to direct my own learning and explore curiosity. I think that kind of fluidity is what I associate with the English department.”
Alexis says this creative liberty is one of her favorite things about the ECL. She is permitted to let her curiosity guide her, expand her horizons, and help her decide which way she wants her future to lead. “There are so many directions to go and I think my happy place is in this exploratory phase. I just want to sample everything.”