After high school, many people look forward to the promising fact that they will never have to sit through another English class. For me, I had the opposite feeling. English class was always the place I thrived most in grade school; it was the one class I was never afraid to raise my hand in, offer my opinion in, the class I always did my homework for. It made me sad to think I would never annotate a novel, complete a creative writing assignment, or have a discussion circle ever again. Luckily for me, I decided to attend a liberal arts-focused school and did not have to give these things up! But for all of those students who chose to go to public universities, they will most likely be allowed to forget all of the things I mentioned earlier. In my opinion, that is simply just not right.
For any major, I feel that it is vital for students to have a strong liberal arts background with heavy of emphasis on English and writing techniques. All kinds of professions require their employees to write documents. Whether that is a business plan, a summary and description of symptoms, or a lab report, you still need those basic grammar skills and writing techniques. Getting the opportunity to write for the Odyssey at school is just one of the many ways I have allowed writing and reading to remain a part of my college life.
Ever since I was young and in grade school, I have always loved to read and write. I was the nerd in high school who would offer to write papers for fun, and I wouldn't just half-ass them. No, I poured my entire heart and soul into those papers for other people. I was always passionate about writing and felt that it was something that I could just pour my thoughts into. It is something that comes naturally to me. I am one of those few, strange people who don't cringe every time a paper is assigned in class. This is where the problem starts in my opinion.
Our society has moved from handwritten letters to emails, from newspapers to Twitter feeds. When is the last time you picked up a book to read for fun? And not just some easy beach read, but a real, classic book like No Promises in the Wind, or Jane Eyre? We don't want to challenge our minds, we want information spoon-fed and delivered to us in an email newsletter. It is time for that to change.
Even if you despised Macbeth in high school and cringed every time you opened Lord of the Flies, I challenge you to take at least one English class during your time in college. College is all about getting outside your comfort zone and growing your mind; books will do that, I promise!