Yes, I Am An English Major, And Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher

Yes, I Am An English Major, And Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher

Do you not think that the people who will teach your children are important?

There seems to be a reoccurring theme every time the "so what are you studying?" conversation comes around. It's almost like everyone who I talk to about my English major has a checklist in their head, that I imagine goes like this:

Step one: Patronize her and nod your head with a fake smile.

Tell her, "that's great" in a high-pitched, babying voice, almost like you're talking to a dog.

Step two: Give her the benefit of the doubt.

Ask her what she plans to do with her degree. Ask, "Do you want to go into law?" because clearly, that is the only honorable profession that can come from a degree in English.

"No, I want to be a high school English teacher."

Step three: RED ALERT! What do I say???

No worries, don't panic. Just tell her that we need good teachers, but make sure it is half-heartily so she knows that deep down you disapprove. Make a joke about how those who can't do teach to show her that you can be funny while also reaffirming my disapproval.

Step four: Talk about what you want to study and make subtle hints that you will be more successful than her.

Don't forget to remind her that your workload surpasses hers to establish that your major is harder.

Step five: Walk away.

If you meet another English major who wants to teach, repeat.

Now I realize this probably isn't what goes through people's heads during this conversation, but it sure as hell feels that way. English majors already have a bad rep. I'm sure you've heard the joke about the difference between a pizza and an English major.

No? Spoiler alert: the difference is that a pizza can feed a family of four.

This anti-English-major stigma is one that I personally don't understand, and if being in a major that for some reason is constantly the butt of jokes isn't enough, imagine going into a profession that is also deemed unimportant.

Usually, I am not one to complain about being teased and roasted, but when it comes to my major and wanting to be a teacher, I get mad.

Stop belittling my major! Stop patronizing my hopeful profession!

English is important. Teachers are important. Imagine a world in which no one knew how to write. That'd be a mess. Imagine a world without good teachers. Tragic. Sure, teachers don't make as much as some other professions, but this is what I am passionate about. Teaching others and hopefully passing on a passion that I have to my future students, that's important to me.

I have been blessed enough to have some fantastic teachers who made me excited to learn, and I want to pass that excitement onto others. Is that a crime? Do I need to prove myself to you before you decide that's acceptable? I hope not. You should just be a decent human and respect all majors and professions.

To sum this up: yes, I am an English major, and yes, I want to take a more traditional route and become a teacher. But no, that doesn't make me any lesser than you, and no, I am not becoming a teacher because I "can't do". So, do me and all the other English majors and aspiring teachers a favor: stop patronizing us, stop comparing our major to yours. We are working just as hard as you to do something just as respectable.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Stop Saying You're a Broke College Student

I've had a job since 16, and my money life is thriving.

It's supposed to be funny when someone says "I'm a broke college student" but I think it's stupid. Here's my unpopular opinion.

I've had a job since I was 16. My first day of work was the first weekend after I started my sophomore year of high school. It wasn't too difficult- I was literally only working on Saturdays and Sundays. The shifts were 4-7:30/8 pm on Saturdays and 11-2:30 on Sundays. I wasn't making a huge amount of money, but it paid for my gas money, and that was all I needed. So the first year I had my job, I was spending any extra money I had on food, movie tickets, and clothes.

Then reality hit when I knew I needed to start saving up for college. I started putting money into my savings account, and eventually I had built up enough money to buy a new old car. I know, it wasn't college tuition, but I needed it.

My first year living in the dorms, I figured out a system. I was putting $150 each week in a savings envelope, and each month I knew I had to pay $160 for my car payment. The rest of the money I made I put in envelopes for a new purse, clothes, vacation. I had a system going, and I didn't spend extra money on useless things unless I was rewarding myself. In case you can't do the math, that's at least $600 in my savings account each month, and most people can't figure out how to put away $100.

Now, as a sophomore in college, I watch people trickle into class with to-go food, to-go coffee, smoothies, and candy from gas stations or the shops on campus. Then I hear those same people complain about being "a broke college student." I'm sorry, but you're not a broke college student. You're a college student who pays for things you don't need, with money you have that you shouldn't be spending. You don't need to get Starbucks 3 times a day. You don't have to go to pitcher night at the local bar. You don't need to spend money on those things, but you do. And at the end of the month, you're broke, and begging your parents for money.

So, in my unpopular opinion, you're not a broke college student. You're a dumb one. Make a budget, give yourself some spending money, and stick to it. You'll thank me later.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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11 Tips For a Great Semester

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

1. Have a nice workspace/desk

I recently made this change and I feel 100% better.

2. Dress well

Personally, if I go to class looking like a bum, I feel like a bum. Dress for success!

3. Go to bed at the same time every night

Getting enough rest can really impact the rest of your day. Aim to get 7-9 solid hours of sleep each night this semester to avoid accidentally being grouchy at someone.

4. What am I doing for this upcoming week?

What are my goals this week? What’s going on this week? What do I need to work on for this week? If you go into your week blind, it never really works. I’ve done this before.

5. Don’t lose your class syllabi

This one paper has literally all of the due dates, test dates, readings and homework assignments on it. Make sure you always know where this paper is because you will be looking at it constantly, so don’t lose it.

6. Ask questions

If you’re in class and you have no idea what the professor is talking about ask, or email them! It’s good to ask questions because then your professor knows you care about their class so it’s a win-win situation. You ask questions plus the professor knows you care equals good grade in the class.

7. Take good notes

I can’t tell you how many times over the past semester I would look back at my notes and what I wrote didn’t make sense. Learn what type of learner you are to figure out how to take the best notes for yourself. I either write everything out by hand which takes forever (especially when the professor flies through the lecture) or I print out the notes and just write on those papers so I can actually listen to the lecture.

8. Get some homework done in between classes

In my schedule, I have a lot of time gaps in between classes just waiting around for my next class to start. Take advantage of this 30 minutes or 2-hour gap and work on some homework. You’ll thank yourself later.

9. Don't overload yourself

I’ve made a rule with myself to only do homework Monday to Friday. That’s because if I work super hard during the week on my work then I can have the weekends off as a mental break. There are a couple exceptions to my rule like if I have a 5-page essay due Monday then yes, I’ll work on it during the weekend or if I have tests coming up the next week then I’ll be studying.

10. Don't procrastinate

If you’re avoiding something, just get it done and over with. If you have a really difficult essay to write and then a bunch of easier assignments; start with the hard assignment first to get it done. It’ll take the most time and then you’ll feel relieved when you’re done with it.

11. Don't give up

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

Just keep going.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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