5 Reasons Why I Will Never Regret My English Degree

5 Reasons Why I Will Never Regret My English Degree

You don't have to live life "practically."

Last Friday, I had a phone interview with two representatives for a contract job at Beth Israel hospital. My consultant at the temp agency I work for had sent in my resume that Monday and the next day Beth Israel asked for references. Then, once all my references responded, they asked for a phone interview. I was psyched.

Long story short: I bombed it.

That’s my own fault. Phone interviews have always been a weakness for me (funny thing coming from an introvert, isn’t it?). I need to work on that. But during the call, one of the interviewers said:

“Is temp work all you could get?”

Maybe she hadn’t meant it to come off as rude, but her tone suggested otherwise. I told her the truth: in the months following my graduation in 2016, I struggled to find work. I sent out resumes and even scored a few interviews. Aside from not getting a response at all, the final answer was commonly “we’re looking for someone with more experience.”

Even RETAIL proved to be a problem. I got turned down for a job at Bath & Body Works. My first real job as a Magna Cum Laude college graduate was in women’s shoes at Macy’s, and the store I worked at closed four months later when HQ in New York made the executive decision to close chains around the country after Amazon kicked their butts at Christmas.

In college, I was an English major concentrating in creative writing with a double minor in Communications and Women & Gender Studies. Even as a freshman, I knew the job market was not entirely promising for me when I graduated. But I never regretted my degree. And here’s why:

1. I was not good at subjects with promised jobs.

Having failed math and science throughout my twelve years in public school, I knew careers like nursing and engineering were off the table for me. Education might have been an option—I was told I would be a good teacher. Only that requires some knowledge of math and science, too, especially if I went down the elementary school route.

But the real reason I decided not to pursue a teaching degree is because of my overall disdain of school politics. The powers that be in the educational system care more about test scores than whether or not the students are actually learning anything.

2. I built on what I was good at.

An English degree allowed me to do what I loved most—reading—and build on what I am good at—writing. Writing is something I am not only good at, but I have a passion for. Four years in college, I produced work I am still proud of to this day, including an 84-page novella I wrote my freshman year and a one-act play that Curry College’s theater students performed in the 2016 New Plays Festival.

I was encouraged to keep writing after graduation. I started a book blog, where I review books I read and do a lot of fun bookish posts. All of you currently reading this article on Odyssey’s website are graced with my entertaining writing skills because I chose to study English.

Writing itself is severely underappreciated. You have to send emails to your bosses and co-workers, right? How do you think you’re going to look to your employer if you send him or her an email filled with typos spell check ignored and you were too lazy to actually do the spell check yourself?

My English degree also gave me the ability to explore new ideas, build on old ones, and explain my opinions in an eloquent way that a professor once told me: “I disagreed with everything you said, but you are very persuasive.” I would never have found that if I had never said “screw you” to being practical.

3. I was happy and my grades showed it.

High school did not go well for me. By my senior year of high school, the book club I was a member of was disbanded and English electives were gone. When I was applying to colleges, my parents didn’t seem to pay too much attention to what I chose to study. Dad was more worried about me getting into a school, while Mom was more preoccupied with me getting a yearbook and a class ring and going to prom.

Then, a year later, the final grades for my first semester of college came in and I got a B in math — the first time ever in my life. In fact, throughout my whole college career, I got only three Cs.

You could say I was a good student, which I was, but there was more to it than that. I was happy. Not only was I making friends, I was doing something I loved. I was excited to go to my English classes, even if it meant analyzing Beowulf or The Communist Manifesto. I was letting out my creativity through writing.

4. So many people I knew pursued “practical” and they were unhappy.

Many of you probably experienced this yourselves in college, or you know someone that did. I can’t tell you how many times I heard: “My parents would have killed me if I didn’t do something practical.” More often than not, people nowadays choose their degrees based on what their family wants or what they think will score a job after graduation. Throughout those four years, most were probably miserable.

Newsflash: if you wanted a guaranteed job after graduation, you should have gone to trade school.

5. I studied what I love and it helped me set the path I am meant to be on.

Reading and writing is what makes me happy. I could have been a teacher. I could have gone into something in the health and wellness field. I could have done something technological. But I doubt I would have been nearly as happy or have found my true calling in life.

If there wasn’t the pesky matter of not wanting to live with my parents forever, I would absolutely devote myself to writing. Unfortunately, I will have to contradict everything I just ranted about in this article and agree with practical. I admit that not everyone is J.K. Rowling. But my decision to go graduate school to get my Master’s in Library and Information Science is rooted in my English degree. I love books and literature enough to make it a part of my life as much as I can.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

The Stages Every College Kid Looking For An Internship Goes Through, Rinses And Repeats

I'm either underqualified or overqualified.

Some majors require an internship, and some do not. However, us college students are always told that having an internship could really benefit you when finding an entry-level job when you graduate. As the new year begins, many college students are competing and applying for all of these internships and it's nervewracking.

Here are the stages of finding an internship, told by a college student:

1. Writing a perfect resume and cover letter.

It has to be perfect. You want it to look like everybody else's, but somehow it needs to stand out as well. You have to fit work experience, education, your skills, volunteering, leadership roles, and your relevant coursework all on one page? Good luck. Also, everyone has different views on what makes the best resume and cover letter. Which one does my dream job like the best?! The world may never know.

2. Applying for internships and temporary jobs.

You scroll through a million job websites trying to find titles that seem fitting in your area. Some of the qualifications are not fair and do not make sense. Other qualifications a monkey could do. It's all over the place on the web so be careful of what you choose. You send about 100 applications and send your resume to 100 employers, hoping to get one stinking internship.

3. You get an email of interest.

Oh, happy day! A company potentially wants to hire you! You get all excited for it, but then realize how nervous you are.

4. You get an email that you have been denied.

Well, better luck next time. You win some, you lose some. There's still hope (or at least that's what we tell ourselves).

5. You prepare for the interview.

You research their website and their company so that when it comes time for the interview, you are their biggest fan. You have to mentally prepare yourself for this interview.

6. You do a phone interview.

You are ready for them to ask you what your strengths and weaknesses are, and the basic questions. Then, they throw you a curveball. You answer to the best of your ability and regret your answer later, wondering if that just ruined your interview.

7. You want to meet this company and they want to meet you.

This is it. You got the real-deal interview. I guess they liked what you said in the phone interview when you just kind of word-vomited everywhere! OK, now you have to prepare for this interview, which will be even scarier.

8. You finally get an internship.You got the offer!

You got the offer! There is some miracle out there that they picked you out of at least 50 applicants and you are thrilled. You are the chosen one.

Do all of this on repeat while taking five to six classes, fulfilling extracurricular activities, and work, and you will find an internship right away (or not)!

Cover Image Credit: mdgovpics / Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Things You Should Know Before Applying to Grad School

It's not as scary as you think, but it is a lot of work.

Graduate school is a route that many young and hopeful undergrads look for once they read their junior, senior, or post-collegiate years. To many, the idea of graduate school might be a daunting task to set into motion, while to others, it might seem like the obvious next step. Whether you're sure about graduate school or not, here are a few things you must know that might help you make your decision.

1. Applying isn't as scary as you think it might be

I applied well after I graduated from college so I could work and save up some money. Despite having been in school for more than half of my life, I somehow forgot all about the structure of school and the application process in general. As a result, I became panicky and anxious at just the mere thought of having to create an account and read through the long, LONG lists of things to do and send in. Yet as I've just turned in my first application, I feel much better about it. It wasn't as terrifying as I thought, although trust me - it IS a lot of work.

2. Applying is a lot of work

As I said before, there's a lot that goes into applying to graduate schools. Depending on what you're trying to pursue your masters in, there's usually an essay portion, a statement of interest, or a "personal statement," as well as GRE/MCAT/LSAT scores that have to be sent in, and sending in your transcripts. Depending on what you plan to do and where you plan to go, there could be loads of other aspects, such as interviews or resumes to be uploaded.

3. It's pretty much all online

You'd think that would make it easier, but nope. Unless you're a pure technological wizard, there are going to be times when you look at the website and think "what on earth?" simply because it is such an involved process. Just make sure to re-read everything and double check what you've uploaded.

4. It ain't cheap

I repeat - applying to graduate schools is not cheap. You have to have a lot of money saved up just to apply to ONE college. You've got the application fee (ranges from $40-80), the test fee ($200+), sending in your transcripts fee ($10-20), and sending in your test scores fee ($20+). Add that up and that's way too much money to spend just so that you can spend even MORE money on that education. Now multiply that by four or five because that's probably how many schools you're applying to anyway. It's. Very. Expensive. It's not fair, but that's the price you pay (pun not intended) for wanting to better yourself, your career, and your education. Awesome.

5. You shouldn't be afraid to email or call the school of your choice

The graduate admissions office is there to help. Call them, call the coordinator for your desired program, and have them put you in contact with an actual living, breathing graduate student. I did that, and having someone tell me their experiences at the school helped ease my worries so much. These people want you to succeed (they also want your money - refer back to number four) so don't be afraid to utilize their knowledge to benefit yourself.

6. Visit the place you want to go to

It's not always possible, but in the event that it is, go for a little weekend trip to explore your options. I loved going down and visiting the places where I have applied and since doing so, I have a better idea of where I want to go and potentially start the rest of my career and life.

If you've had any issues with figuring out your life post-college, then look no further at this article to help you realize the steps that must be taken in order to apply. It might save you a lot of strife in the long run!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Related Content

Facebook Comments