Although her first language is Russian, Truett McConnell University (TMU) freshman Anna Skudarnova claims her desire has always been to pursue an English degree.

Skudarnova’s parents are originally from Ukraine and they immigrated to the United States where she and her brother were born.

“When I was in kindergarten, my teacher would have Bible time with us,” said Skudarnova. “I remember coming home with the paper she would give us about the story she told, and I would write the story down in my own words and then read it to my mom. When I was six years old, I remember my mom distinctly saying to me, ‘You’re going to be a writer.’ And she wasn’t wrong.”

Born to write

For Skudarnova, it was no question that she was born to write. This passion continued with her throughout her elementary years. She wrote her first book when she was in the third grade.

“The book was handwritten and had very bad cursive,” she laughs, “but my teacher encouraged us all to set goals, and that was the goal I had to accomplish if I wanted a treasure from the treasure box.”

In high school, the young writer continued to develop her skills through her school’s journalism program and writing for her church, while dual enrolling at TMU.

“I had the fear of not being good enough to be an English major,” Skudarnova shared. “Once I started getting A’s on my papers and being pushed out of my comfort zone, I realized I could do it. I never felt like I was in class, I was just having so much fun.”

Along with her passion for writing, Skudarnova also states that majoring in English will serve her well in many facets of life.

“Whether it’s my personal life, professional life, or anything I choose to do,” she said, “I can’t think of something this degree will not benefit me in. I didn’t choose English to go on a specific route. I chose it because, with it, I can go to so many places.”

One of the many places Skudarnova alludes to is ministry work. Along with her major in English, she is also minoring in women’s studies. The freshman hopes to one day point women to the practical application of truth from the Bible.

Adapting to the college life

Skudarnova’s journey as a freshman English major has been a very positive and notable experience.

“The English department is a lot like a family. I’ve gotten to know the students really well: their writing styles, passions, and critiques. You also get to know the professors well, which is so important and something that I think sets Truett McConnell apart from other schools.”

While dual enrolled, Skudarnova had the opportunity to enter and win the Creative Writing Competition hosted by the School of The Humanities. This year, she plans to enter again and continue sharing her passion for short stories and poetry.

Skudarnova said, “When you really love something, and it’s your passion, you’re not just doing it to do the bare minimum. The more I get involved with the classes here at Truett McConnell, I realize I don’t have to be inspired to write. When you sit down and push yourself, after about twenty minutes or so, the inspiration just comes to you because you’re a writer. It’s what you were meant to do.”


Alexa Miller is a senior Psychology major and intern for TMU’s Marketing and Communications department.

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