In 1832, Lafayette College opens its doors and offers courses in mathematics and the classics, giving students the opportunity to toil in fields and trade workshops in exchange for tuition. In the absence of a formal English writing curriculum, the Washington and Franklin Literary Societies flourish, enabling students to develop writing and oratorical skills outside the classroom. Students hone their composition skills further by creating handwritten publications filled with poetry and essays on a variety of topics. Letters written home and diary entries also provide the first generation of Lafayette students with creative writing outlets. Their vivid descriptions of life at the College focus on the drudgery of manual labor, inedible meals, and the challenges of Greek and Latin.