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.

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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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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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If You Go To College, You Know It's Nothing Like The Movies

Leave all your expectations behind about college because it is not what the movies make it seem like.

Cassidy
Cassidy
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Every senior in high school watches movies about college and thinks that it will be exactly the same, and trust me, it is not. College is actually very different from the movies. Yes, there are crazy parties sometimes, and yes, the school work is hard, but there are so many things that movies and shows just don't portray accurately.

One of the biggest things that movies get wrong is the fact that they show professors as not helpful and very strict. Most professors in college actually do want to help you, and they really want to see you succeed. Yes, there are some that are very strict, but the majority of the professors are laid back and want you to do well in their classes.

Another thing that the movies get wrong is the partying. Yes, there are college parties, but people also study and do school work more than party. College is actually a place to get an education, so don't expect to be going out and being wild every night. Also, parties in college are much smaller, and much more crowded than the movies show. Don't be surprised when your expectations are not met when you go out to your first party.

Finally, what most people don't realize is that in college you will get homesick and you will miss your family, which is perfectly normal. You will also create some of the best memories of your life as well, and meet amazing people while you are there and they will be your friends for a lifetime. So, don't worry too much about college, because it will be an amazing time and you only get to live out those four years once in your life, so try to make them the best you can.

Cassidy
Cassidy

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