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First-time Sun Devil finds resilience, purpose in writing

ASU student Genevieve Hook sitting in an oversized, red chair.

Genevieve Hook is pursuing an English degree through ASU Online. Photo courtesy Genevieve Hook

August 07, 2023

Editor's note: ASU News is highlighting some of its notable incoming students for fall 2023.

From a young age, Genevieve Hook enjoyed singing, and it was her dream to pursue a career in music.

Then, in high school, Hook was diagnosed with hyperacusis, a hearing condition that reduces tolerance to sound, which resulted in moderate hearing loss. Devastated at the thought that her career trajectory was derailed, she buried herself in writing poems, songs and journaling.

“With the writing, it opened me to new emotions,” Hook said. “I got to write poems about how I felt about losing my hearing and other traumatic life events.”

Not knowing where life would lead her next, she took time after high school to connect with people, learn sign language and discover her new purpose in life.

Now living in San Diego, music is still her passion, but in literature, she has found a new way to connect with people.

This fall, through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, Hook will be pursuing an English degree through ASU Online that will allow her to expand on that connection through her writing.

“It is 100% acceptable to wait until you have yourself figured out,” Hook said. “Learn about yourself and who you are and take a deep look at what you love. There is always an outlet for your fun hobbies that can turn into a career.”

Here, Hook shares her aspirations for her college journey with ASU News.

Question: Why did you choose ASU Online?

Answer: Starbucks actually offers a wonderful program that provides full tuition coverage. I had just moved across the country from Iowa to San Diego, and ASU offered me a chance to follow my dream of becoming a writer, and I wouldn't pass that up for the world. I was debating taking the work-study program Starbucks offers. I woke up one day and looked in the mirror. Suddenly, I realized I am 24 years old and working with my only aspiration to be a writer while not promoting my writing. I said to myself, "Oh my God. I'm an idiot for wasting this much time," and that's when I talked to my store manager and got set up with the enrollment team.

Q: Is this your first time attending college?

A: Yes. I had taken college-level, advanced placement (AP) courses in high school, but I was not able to afford the AP testing and college testing to get the credit. I always knew I had the intelligence and courage to go to college, but while being low-income, I didn't think I would have the financial means to actually go. With the Starbucks College Achievement Program, I can. 

Q: What’s your major and how did you decide it was the right major for you?

A: I will major in English starting in August. After high school, I waited to go to college for numerous reasons, and during that time, and even before, I was always writing. I wrote songs and poems when I was 5 years old. Then I moved into writing short stories and essays for school. Eventually, I graduated to having a mostly finished novel. I've always wanted to be a writer, and I want to hone and work to develop those skills so I can have a strong, fulfilling career.

Q: What are you most excited to experience during your first semester at ASU?

A: I am excited for so many opportunities. I had been looking through my email and clicked on a school email for the online activity fair, and I sent in an application for the newspaper to work on some articles for The State Press. I am looking forward to the class "Buried Cities and Lost Tribes" with Professor Curtis Marean. I am just overall excited to go back to school. I love to expand my horizons and learn about people, culture, literature and language. This is definitely the best way for me personally to go about doing it. 

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I want to publish the novel I have started. I was and still am heavily inspired by my partner to write this particular project. I don't think I ever would have started it if it wasn't for their excitement and willingness to truly support me and my other writer friends in achieving this goal.

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