Choosing a major in college can be really hard and really stressful. And even though you know it will probably change about 5 times within 4 years, you still stress over the decision.
I was in the same boat until I realized all the signs that I wanted to study English (reading, writing, literature) were right in front of my face. So if you're guilty of any of these like me, then maybe you need to look at your school's English department a little bit closer.
1. Your parents read to you as a child
This most likely occurred when you were younger and just starting to read and explore all the worlds and emotions books had to offer.
This happened when you were about to go to bed, or just chilling with your mom on the couch, but either way, it was definitely one of your favorite parts of the day. (Bonus if your parents gave different voices to the characters because that's totally something you do in your head now).
2. Trips to the library are/were as frequent as trips to the mall (maybe even more so)
It's literally a building full of free books, it doesn't get better than that!
For me, these trips occurred every Monday night, and I would always scour the shelves for a new and exciting adventure. And then my dad would take FOREVER to find the book he wanted so I would have time to just curl up in a library chair and read.
3. You totally wrote fanfiction
I mean, it doesn't have to be officially published or anything but do not lie, it's totally something you did. And it's actually so fun.
4. Words aren't just black, squiggly lines on a page
You never saw the words in books as just words, they always immediately conjured up images in your mind, or emotions in your soul. It got to the point where they weren't even words, just imaginary images and experiences.
And you try to share this phenomenon in your writing as well.
5. There were definitely moments when you laughed aloud, or gasped in a quiet room, because of something that happened in a book
Many people can just read about events and characters and just "look" at what is happening, but not you.
You actually feel what the characters are feeling and are able to visualize events so well that major plot points inspire physical reactions out of you, which is honestly the best way to experience any novel, in my opinion.
6. You can easily point to your "literacy sponsor"
Literacy sponsors, a term coined by Deborah Brandt in her "Sponsors of Literacy" essay, are those in our lives that support and/or teach us in the understanding (or lack thereof) of certain types of literacy.
If you're an English major, you can usually identify who or what this was in your life, and how they have affected your future.
7. You frequently recommend books to your siblings, friends and random people
You read a lot, so why not do a service and tell the world what they would enjoy?
Plus doing this allows you to have other people you can talk to about these books or writings, which enhances any reading experience tenfold.
These discussions not only strengthen friendships and the love of the written word but also helps you understand new perspectives and ideas you may never have thought of before.
8. When engaging in activism, you don't just rally — you write!
Words can be a massive form of persuasion and an effective way to get things done.
You know how books and speeches and letters have affected you in the past, so you understand how they can help others.
Before rallies, or canvassing or fighting, words are always the first place you turn when you want to make a difference. It's just natural.
9. You've totally fangirled about your favorite novels
Whether it's dressed up as your favorite characters to the midnight premiere of the movie, or walked into every single store in Universal Studio's Diagon Alley, or took an hours-long trip just to meet your favorite author in person, you've definitely gone above and beyond just reading the books themselves.
10. You always got lowkey excited about required novels in English class
Most people in their middle and high school English classes would groan when the teacher would assign a novel for the class to read and study, but you were always a tiny bit happy about it.
It was an experience to read a book you may not have read otherwise and understand more about the context, language, and symbolism that you may have missed if you read it alone.
11. You actually read in your free time
Books are actually really good, especially when you have the freedom to choose what you want to read about. You could never understand how someone could hate reading.
12. You have plans to write a book someday
The topic could be anywhere from dragons to doughnuts, but the point it, you have a constant story in your head that's just waiting to be written down.
13. You understand the power of the written word
You understand how words aren't just words, how they are living, breathing, vibrant things that reach across the page and into life and emotions. They can do so much more than just exist.
I will leave you with a sentence I wrote in the essay that helped me decide I wanted to be an English major.
"Words never began as just lines on a page for me, they were fluid objects that created worlds and characters and maximized my senses to the possibilities all around me, while creating opportunities for fun and intellectual stimulation."
If that rings true for you as well, have you ever considered majoring in English?