7 Struggles English Majors Know All Too Well

7 Struggles English Majors Know All Too Well

Being an English major is anything but a walk in the park.

English majors are unique to say the least. Just like any other college major, we tolerate our fair share of stereotypes. Although this may apply to some of us, we do not all want to be English teachers and our major is not "easy" or "fake." Contrary to popular belief, being an English major is anything but a walk in the park. Here is a list of struggles that all English majors can probably empathize with.

1. Having to read all the time but never having any time to read

With all that we have to read for class, there is rarely any time to read. Don't get me wrong, we can still read what we are assigned in class. Yet, we cannot read for fun which is sad because pleasure reading is what fueled most of our passions for English in the first place.

2. Writer's Block

Writer's block is OUR WORST, and I mean OUR WORST ENEMY. Especially when it consumes us at the most inconvenient times like when we have to start or finish a paper that is due the next day.

3. Having to cut words out of an assignment to come in under the word limit

Though it might be painful, and it feels like we are cutting ourselves short, it must be done. Somehow, it is a norm for us yet our friends can barely reach the minimum word limit. Weird.

4. Editing everyone's papers (but secretly loving it)!

We are always everybody's go-to person when it comes to editing a paper. Editing papers for others is good practice for editing our own and a great distraction from re-reading our own papers a million times.

5. Being dependent on our laptops

From essays to short stories and poems, everything we write is saved onto our laptops. Without our laptops, we would have none of our literary works, our pride and joy! We would not know what to do with ourselves if this was lost!

6. Always holding back the urges to correct everyone's poor grammar

It is always a struggle to hold ourselves back from correcting incorrect grammar. If only people knew the differences between plurals and possessives.

7. The misconception that English is an 'easy' or 'fake' major

Contrary to what you may have heard, English is not by any means an 'easy' or 'fake' major. We have difficult tests and homework just like any other major. The only difference is, our tasks usually involve reading and writing. In addition, an English degree is not pointless and no, we are not all going into teaching. English is the degree for many important occupations (besides teaching), including journalism, writing, publishing and public relations. In the end, English is our passion and no matter how hard the major may get we all know that we are where we belong.

Cover Image Credit: Pxhere

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I Learned More About Sex From The Internet Than I Did From Health Class

How is it that the one place that is supposed to educate us completely glazed over one of the most important parts of life?

When I was a kid growing up in the early 2000s, I’d watch shows like Lizzie McGuire and Evan Stevens and had readily decided that I understood exactly what high school was going to be like before I had even got there. One of the common scenes of TV shows depicting teenagers such as Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens were those episodes where the kids in a sex ed/health classroom were given an electronic baby doll to care for with a partner for about a week or so.

When I got a little older, the image of sex ed/health classes began to change ever so slightly. In middle school, I began to watch shows and movies like Degrassi and Mean Girls, where sex, of course, was more heavily represented than in PG shows like Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens. In these shows, or in shows like these, students were shown in classrooms learning to do things like put a condom on over a banana, or otherwise, learning about various methods of birth control. At this point in time, I thought that I had an even better idea of what high school sex ed was going to be like – but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

By the time I had reached my sophomore year of high school, abstinence-only sex ed programs and health classes were in place everywhere. At my school, health class was required to be taken by all sophomores, but of course, as the title implies – health class wasn’t JUST about sex. It was course also about dieting, nutrition, exercise, drugs and their impact on the body, mental illness, how to administer CPR in an emergency situation, AND sex. Not to say that each of these topics is not certainly very important, but the problem with trying to squeeze each of these important topics into a semester-long course is that each of these topics, in turn, are forced to be taught by instructors in somewhat of a neglectful manner.

Sex ed for us was a two-week long or so mini-course taught within the semester-long health course. The instructor was not my instructor for the health course itself, but a random, yet very kind lady who had been trained under the state of Ohio to educate students on what Ohio believed to be important for students of this age to know about sexual intercourse. It is difficult to recall precisely what was learned, as it was taught so quickly in such a short time frame, but I do recall a packet of information written in black ink that landed on my desk day one of the mini-course, which we were instructed to fill out each day as the next two weeks went by.

The lady would ask us questions about what we had learned in class, such as STDs, and we were given jolly ranchers for doing so. Again, because this was a short mini-course, information about what to do in the case of acquiring an STD was very limited in itself. The main message was that the best way to stop a consequence like an STD from occurring was simply to avoid sex altogether.

We did not heavily discuss condoms, different condom brands, how to put on a condom, where to get condoms for very cheap or even for free, and so forth. Only the fact that condoms are, apparently, so unreliable that you may as well ditch them and avoid sex altogether.

The other major consequence of sexual intercourse is, of course, pregnancy. Of course, we did not go into detail about this particular topic of caring for an actual child, nor did we go into detail about birth control. I had no idea that such a thing as “spermicide” existed until about my senior year of high school. I did not know about the different kinds of birth control that there are – that it can be taken as a pill, a shot, or a bar implanted in your arm, nor did I learn about the best way to go about consulting a doctor to be placed on birth control.

What I was told about birth control, of course, was simply that it is also not 100 percent effective, it cannot even protect STDs, and therefore, we may as well ditch the birth control and not have sex at all.

I think that this overall message of abstinence as the only proper method of preventing the consequences that can result from sex is not only complete bullshit but extremely dangerous for children and teenagers. The truth is, kids are going to do whatever the hell they want to do, regardless of what an authority figure tells them to do – particularly unruly teenagers who believe that they know everything that there is to know about the planet.

If we know that children are going to partake in something as “dangerous” as sexual intercourse, why in the world would we not give them the tools to do it properly? Ditching the condoms and the birth control in favor of abstinence is just a ridiculous assumption that the majority of teenagers do not follow – hence teenage pregnancy as the most evident result of this.

The other major issue that I have with sex ed as is taught in public schools in the US is that they’re actually missing a third major consequence of sex that is completely taboo to even mention. We’ve talked about pregnancy and STDs, but what about the emotional turmoil of what we know as hook-up culture? What about that feeling young girls get in the pit of their stomach after giving their virginity to someone who’s promised to love them and then doesn’t return their texts a few weeks later? I was told that if I had sex, my urine could (inevitably) end up burning as a result. I was rarely if ever told that I could have a broken heart.

Everything that concerns sex that was not taught to me in school was taught by various other resources, including parents, friends, the internet, and even a few books. I’ve learned about various resources that I can turn to in order to prevent the consequences of sex from occurring, or how to get help if they’ve already happened.

I’ve learned about various treatments of STDs, including the fact that some cannot be treated at all. I’ve learned about the various choices that I have as a woman to deal with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy. I’ve learned about the good, and also the bad, effects of birth control, the toll it can have on your body, and how deciding to suddenly stop taking birth control can be very dangerous for your reproductive system.

I’ve learned about the various emotional consequences of sex that are rarely discussed: low self-esteem, the emotional toll of an unwanted pregnancy, the broken heart that women must deal with if they experience a miscarriage. I’ve learned that there are different ways to have sex apart from penetration, particularly important where the LGBTQ community is concerned, which is not mentioned in state curriculum whatsoever. I’ve learned about the power and the utmost importance of consensual sexual relationships, and what to do if unwanted sexual advances are made. I’ve learned that our own sexualities can actually be relatively flexible and that it is both normal and healthy for teenagers to ponder their own sexual orientation.

All of this and more was taught to me from various resources other than the one single resource that is specifically meant to educate us. These topics were either never mentioned or were mentioned but in a very limited amount of time.

Abstinence-only sexual education needs to be completely retracted and transformed from the bottom-up. It truly is the only way we can guarantee the complete health and safety, at least where it regards sex, of the children of tomorrow.

At the end of the two-week mini-course, we reached the end of the packet. We were told to write our signature on a line next to a “contract” of sorts, promising the state of Ohio that we would abstain from sex until marriage.

Between you and me 5 years later, I did not sign that silly thing.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube- theninjasandwich

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You Went To An All-Girl School If Any Of These 32 Moments Sound Familiar

"The best thing about going to an all-girls school was that it never occurred to you that you can't do exactly what you set your mind to."

1. Your most difficult decision in the morning was which color kilt to put on and if your hair was going in a ponytail or a bun

2. There was never avoiding everyone dressing almost completely the same.

3. Trying to cheat the dress code

You tried all the loopholes to get around the dress code. From rolling skirts to wearing sneakers, to illegal sweatshirts and leggings you would dash around the halls hoping to not run into your Dean.

4. You have an abundance of sports bras and spandex shorts from wearing them under your uniform skirt

5. But, you didn't really care how you looked, because hey, there were no boys. Who cares!

6. You thought it was perfectly acceptable to change in the middle of the hallway, and it totally was.

7. Senior privileges were things like wearing Christmas socks and having your own special sweater, and dressing up for Halloween

8. The winter time meant that no one shaved their legs

9. And when someone finally did they would go around all day asking everyone to feel how nice they were

10. You knew everyone in your class... which wasn't too hard when there were only 67 of you

11. You got used to being referred to as “ladies” all the time, even when you weren’t in trouble

12. You have no problem discussing your period in graphic detail

12. In fact, you’ve probably walked into a room yelling if anyone has a tampon

13. And at one point you “synced up” will all of your friends

14. Everyone treated gym class like it was the Olympics or an 80s work out video

19. You had a really close relationship with all of your teachers

20. Dances with your “brother schools” were always a HUGE deal.

21. And everyone would meet up at someone else’s house to get ready so you would be able to walk into the gym at the same time

22. You know that "leave room for the Holy Spirit" IS a real thing.

23. There was food, everywhere, like, all the time

24. In fact, you and your friends ate way more than other girls that you knew

25. And everyone took their food very seriously

26. You probably played a boy in the school play/musical

27. Spirit week was a HUGE deal

28. Everyone tried to figure out who was secretly a lesbian.

29. When someone got a boyfriend everyone knew about it immediately

30. You wore this for graduation, and no one even questioned it

31. But the best thing about going to an all-girls school was that it never occurred to you that you can't do exactly what you set your mind to.

32. The sayings are true, I didn’t meet my husband in high school but I sure as hell met my bridesmaids

Cover Image Credit: Sofia Corrado

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