Stop Invalidating My Major

Stop Invalidating My Major

No major is worthless.

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"It must be nice to not have so much homework all the time."

"Ugh, you're lucky you don't have to be this stressed."

"Do you even have any finals?"

"What jobs can you even get?"

"You do realize you aren't going to make a lot of money, right?"

I hear these same phrases every year. Every. Single. Year. From both peers and adults alike. And every year I get more and more pissed off.

I'm sick of people looking down on me because I have an "easy" major. My major isn't easy. It may seem easy to everyone else since I'm not constantly wanting to rip my hair out because I actually enjoy the classes I take. It may be hard, but I don't complain because I love what I'm studying. It doesn't mean I don't have an insane workload, but I just don't publicly complain about it to everyone who wants to listen.

English majors are notoriously bashed on for studying something that isn't going to give them a "real job." Do literally a five minute Google search and you'll realize how wrong you are. Some examples? Social media manager, technical writer, public relations specialist, grant writer, editors and content managers, teachers, new reporter, even a lawyer. Everyone assumes our one goal is to end up being a best-selling author. We're not dumb, we know how unlikely it is we'll be the next J. K. Rowling or Stephen King. There are jobs you can get with an English major, and high paying ones too.

It's ridiculous to me how almost every single one of my peers looks down on me for my major. I just don't understand how you can try and state on major is better than the other. Not all of us want to be STEM or business majors. Even if every single person wanted to be a STEM or business major, who's supposed to take all the other jobs you deem "unworthy?" Who's supposed to teach your kids? Who's supposed to report the news? Who's supposed to help make the movies and T.V. shows you all love so much? You think our majors are useless until you realize all the things you take for granted on a daily basis are possible because of those who major in English, Secondary Education, Journalism, Film Production, Culinary Arts, Music, etc. I'm not trying to say STEM and business majors aren't important degrees, they are of course necessary in the world we live in. I just see these two majors hate on other majors the most.

On the outside, it may not seem like my workload is hard because I don't complain or study constantly. Sure, I barely have exams, which I'm thankful for. But I average about one paper due a week, usually more, ranging anywhere from 1-10 pages. It may not seem that difficult, "oh it's just a paper," but it's more than just sitting down and writing some bullshit in 30 minutes and expecting to get a 4.0. It's reading a book three times and still not knowing how to analyze it in order to write a paper on it. Thesis statements take me an hour alone to come up with, then another three hours writing the paper, another two hours editing it, add on another hour for trying to find evidence to actually try and prove your argument. Seven hours. Seven hours for one paper. That doesn't include the time it takes to read the book.

Each English class I take ranges from requiring to read one book to nine. Reading may not seem like difficult homework until you actually see the stuff we have to not only read but analyze and actually make sense of. I can't just read a book and call it good, there's so much more going on in a text than what most people realize. If you've ever read "Lord of the Flies" you know what I'm talking about. And unlike other homework, you can't rush reading through a book. I can't wait until the last minute to read it like you could other homework, it's literally impossible. One 600 page book takes 20 hours to read, and that's being generous.

One 600 page book a week + one paper = 27 hours. That's just for one class, not including the other three English classes I have. And don't even get me started on the 30-40 page senior thesis I have to write, for which I have to read 16 books. So no, I don't have all the free time in the world. No, I'm not totally free of stress. But I love my major. I love reading, I love writing. Even though I'm insanely busy I don't care, because I'm doing something that I love.

Before you try and make other people feel small for the major they choose, understand that each major is hard in their own way. A major that may not work for you works for someone else. No major is worthless. And it's time people start understanding that.


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