Fiona MacDonald ‘22

English Literature Major


Hopkinton, NH

What made you choose UNH?

I knew I didn’t want to go to a private university. On top of that, UNH is relatively close to home, has a beautiful campus and is way bigger than my high school — I had a graduating class of around 60 — which has been a nice change.

How did you choose your major and why?

I’ve always loved good stories — majoring in English literature just made sense to me. I’ve really enjoyed taking all different kinds of literature classes at UNH, from surveys to courses that focus on just one book or author. I sort of stumbled on my Ancient Greek minor accidentally — I had to sign up to take a language freshman year, and I thought it would be interesting to learn a new alphabet. Three years later, I’m still taking Greek and I’m very involved in the wonderful Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies Department. I also recently started taking film classes, so I’m hoping to add a cinema studies minor, too!

What do you enjoy most about being in the College of Liberal Arts?

One of my favorite things about being in COLA is that there are so many opportunities to explore different subjects. In my time at UNH, I’ve taken a lot of different English classes, but I’ve also taken courses in art history, anthropology, film, philosophy and Ancient Greek. I like the freedom of exploring all these different areas, and then the excitement of seeing how they overlap! I think most COLA majors have this flexibility — something that might not be so available in other colleges.

Have you undertaken any experiential learning (internships, study abroad, research, etc.)?

Last summer, I had the opportunity to do a research project through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. I spent ten weeks reading works by John Milton and Plato and examining how both authors wrote and thought about poetry. It was exciting to combine my two areas of interest and see how much they have in common (and get paid to do it!).

Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?

I’m the co-president of Eta Sigma Phi, which is the organization of classics students on campus. I also am a contributor for Main Street Magazine — I like to write about TV and movies and what goes on inside my head. If you’re around campus, definitely pick up the latest issue!

How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?

I think all the classes I’ve taken in COLA, both in my major and outside of it, have taught me skills that will be valuable throughout the rest of my life — how to think critically, write effectively and have fun doing it.

What are your post-graduation plans at this point?

I'm not sure! There are a lot of things I’d like to do: I think it would be fun to be a bookbinder, a professional knitter, the mentor on Project Runway, a podcaster, a Christmas tree farm owner or a guide at the Salem Witch Museum. Maybe some combination of these things, or maybe something else entirely!

What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I’m on a quest to watch every movie Woody Harrelson has ever been in. At the time of writing this, I’ve watched 52 since I started last April, so I’ve only got 26 to go! I’m also recording and ranking every hat he wears in every role he plays (there have been 70 hats so far).