5 Things I've Learned From My Comparative Literature Major

5 Things I've Learned From My Comparative Literature Major

To be honest, after declaring this major, this major has given me an interesting experience that I cannot forget.

Amy Chai
Amy Chai

Throughout my college semesters, I have pursued the major of comparative literature. To be honest, after declaring this major, this major has given me an interesting experience that I cannot forget. Here are five things that I have learned from this major:

1. Not everyone knows this major

During this experience of having comparative literature as my major, I have lots of people asking me what major I have. When I answer them that it's comparative literature, they just look at me and simply ask what is that major. I have to repeat the explanation so many times to people. However, there are some people who do know the major but they are usually surprised at me having this major.

2. It gives me improvement in my analytic skills

Before going to college, I had lots of difficulty on analyzing. At that same time, I didn't know what analyzing means. Then, in college, the classes I took for the major of comparative literature have helped me practice on my analytic skills and it has made me understood what analysis it's really about. Analysis from then becomes a whole lot easier for me than before.

3. Writing essays is hard work

Essay writing is not easy. Even though analysis may be easier for me, putting these ideas of analysis on paper is not. Before, I could only write five pages, but throughout, I have been able to write essays that are more than ten pages. With this major, I have to say that it truly does put my writing skills to practice and help me improve on my writing skills as well as analysis.

4. I get to read books and watch films

Due to the busy schedules, I have no time to read a book. However, for assignments to help with my analytic skills, they are usually readings of a book or type of literary text. With this major, I have read many classic texts that I have heard about before and now that I am glad that I have read them. Moreover, I get to read translated texts and ones that are written in the original language. Besides literature, I get to watch movies to help with my analytic skills. I love films and I got to watch both classic old films as well as films that I have never watched before. I am able to watch films in a way that I have never thought of before which is my favorite part from pursuing this major.

5. Storytelling is very important

Comparative literature has really demonstrated to me that storytelling is extraordinary. With comparative literature, I get to understand the story structures from both books and films in a way that I have never thought of before. Moreover, this major also helps me with my imagination when writing a story. It has also shown me the different meanings that are hidden beyond the surface of the text and the aesthetics shown to me.

In short, comparative literature has helped me go forward with my life with a new optimistic perspective.

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything

I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.


Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.



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