One of the most ironic things to me is what comes out of people’s mouths when I tell them I am an English major. Getting passed the whole “ohhh…. What will you do with that?” question the next thing they are curious about is if I do nothing but read all day? I wanted to spend a little time previewing cliche things that I am asked on a daily (could be an exaggeration maybe monthly) basis when I tell people I am an English major.
Do you just read all day?
Yes and no. Often I am not ‘reading’ like you might imagine. I am researching and reading academic writing or books that are required for my classes much like a regular college student. I think the most common thought in people’s minds is that I am sitting around doing leisure reading all day with my Starbucks coffee in my hand, and I think that is the cause behind the looks I receive when people ask “what you will do” with my major. (spoiler alert, whatever I want!)
So are you obsessed with the “classics”?
I get this question a lot and honestly I think I am the weird person within my major who actually is. To be an English major you have to have a least a little respect for classic literature and you DEFINITELY have to be able to analyze it on at least a surface level, but I am definitely the misfit in regards to classic literature. Not too many of my fellow classmates would choose a Hemingway novel over any of the literature that is written today. What a lot of people don’t know about me is that I was reading classic literature from an early age, and had a HUGE hiatus into my early teenage years where I resented it. The bard was the one who brought me back and I owe so much to him, I plan on teaching and researching his works throughout the rest of my college career. But that is a whole other story. So are English majors obsessed with the classics…? EH. I guess I am. I can’t speak for everyone.
Could you just not decide on a major? Isn’t English really easy…?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Depending on my classes I might be reading upwards of hundreds of pages a week, or on busy days, perhaps a night (especially if I am researching), writing hundreds and thousands of words (you might take scantron bubble tests, I take essay exams!) and let’s not get into things that I am expected to have memorized… (MLA and APA citations, Grammatical structure, CRAP, Logos Ethos Pathos.. Etc.) Being an English major is one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I love every second of it.
So you are going to write my paper for me right?! HA HA HA
NO. And before you brand me as a shrew (thank you Shakespeare for giving me the ability to refrain from cussing) let me just explain why really quick. I am expected to write at a level that most other majors are not. AND before you think I am just being pretentious, other people have things they are learning that does not directly relate to writing. I have learned how to write for the last five years, and when I take a class that is not English related and am expected to write a 1 page maximum, I panic because cutting down my writing is the hardest thing I can do. I promise that if I write that paper for you it will be very obvious that it was me, both in voice and research method. As much as I would love to write something that doesn’t directly revolve around literary content, it would be bad for both of us. I would be happy to edit though!
I think it is obvious by now how much I love being an English major. Yes my path is up in the air, no I don’t leisurely read as much as I would love to, and 97% of the time I would rather be watching Netflix than researching and writing. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.