Hi, my name is Irina, and I’m a creative writing major.

Before you jump to any conclusions, yes: I’ve heard it all. Once I announce my major, everybody seems to have an opinion, from Uber drivers to my classmates. Some people have a heck of a lot of faith in me, probably more than I have in myself. Others say it’s a waste of money, tell me I don’t do anything and ask me what in the world I can possibly accomplish with this major.

But here’s the thing about creative writing majors: we can take a lot of criticism. Critique from others is imperative to build the best version of your work. We create something from our blood, sweat, and tears, let it loose into the real world to get beaten up and knocked around, then welcome it home so we can patch it back up again. But I know that this only makes my writing stronger, and I’ve learned to not take it so personally.

So, when somebody gives me their opinion on my major, I can recognize that it’s just that. An opinion. An opinion that doesn’t define my life, my writing, or my decisions. Just like how criticism on my writing makes it stronger, criticizing my major makes me stronger. For every callous comment, I feel even more motivated to prove everybody wrong.

Sometimes, what others say is not untrue. My future is a little unstable. I’ve got a tough road ahead of me. But I’m going to stick with it, and stay on the path my heart tells me to follow. Despite what others may think, I work hard. I may work differently than other majors, but I work hard nonetheless.

While you may think I’m casually reading a short story, I’m absorbing every line very carefully, chewing it up and spitting it out to retain the juices inside. While you may think I’m whipping up a couple of quick paragraphs, I’m actually flipping through a thesaurus in my mind, trying to decide the best way to word my thoughts. I’m planning the next sentence before I’m finished with the first, then reading my own words through fresh eyes to see if what I’ve written mirrors what’s in my head.

I may not be studying formulas, testing theories, or learning new terms. But this doesn’t mean I’m any less of a stressed out, overworked college student than you are.

So, yes, I’m a creative writing major. I’ve taken my passion, and decided to roll with it. I’ve loved literature since I was a young child, and writing allows me to continue the magic into my adult life. I love what I study, and my homework leaves me energized and inspired. Everything I write holds a piece of myself and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So please, keep your opinions to yourself.

Or don’t. I love constructive criticism