Hilah Kohen

  • Peer Tutor

Hilah is a senior from Iowa City majoring in comparative literature, minoring in Russian, and dabbling in physical chemistry. When she is not obsessing over Russian novels, Hilah tutors English language learners through Teach ESL and leads the WUSTL Russian Club. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, playing the violin, and relaxing with String Theory, WUSTL’s knitting and crocheting club.


What brought you to The Writing Center?

My transition to college-level essay composition really persuaded me of the power of collaborative writing. As I found myself turning to professors and peers more and more frequently to discuss my work and becoming fascinated with their unique ways of thinking and expressing themselves, I began to search for a setting where I could consistently discuss writing with other writers. Coming to The Writing Center both as a student and as a tutor has allowed me to pursue those conversations.

What do you like most about working with writers in The Writing Center?

It’s a wonderful challenge to encounter such a wide range of ideas, disciplines, and methodologies every week, particularly when they’re paired with the enthusiasm and intellectual rigor that our students bring to their work. I’ve always admired students who care about improving how they communicate with other human beings to such a degree that they go out of their way to come to The Writing Center on a regular basis, so I’m very grateful that I get to work with precisely those writers.

What do you find most challenging about writing?

I have a hard time being decisive about my diction. I love spending time on research, brainstorming, and outlining, but it takes a lot of determination for me to settle my thoughts into complete sentences, let alone complete drafts. I always fight to keep myself from editing as I write.

What advice do you have for writers?

The work we do as students matters. I’ve often found myself slipping into a mindset that assumes my papers for undergraduate courses won’t affect anyone but myself and my instructors, but Wash U provides us with so many potential collaborators and such a great range of research opportunities that I’ve become convinced people want to hear what undergraduates have to say. If you’ve written something that makes you proud and gets you excited, use university resources to share it– look for conferences, publications, symposia, and service projects that will help your writing fuel real-world change.