The Struggles Of An English Major

The Struggles Of An English Major

Even when we hate it, we love it.
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Like most English majors, I chose the subject because it is what I'm good at and what I'm passionate about. Since beginning my studies, I have already gotten a taste of the worlds of literature, journalism, and editing. An English degree is a multifaceted tool to have, and it gives you the option of various career paths. I have never doubted my choice for a second, but there have certainly been times where the countless projects, essays, and readings have almost gotten the better of me. Here is a list of struggles I think all English majors will be able to relate to.

Pleasure reading is no longer an option.

Despite the fact that pleasure reading is how most of us discovered our love for English, it is unfortunately something we barely have time for now that we are students. When you have to read 100+ pages for more than one class each week, the occasional Cosmopolitan article is the extent of pleasure reading you have time for.

The work we do outside of class

It's safe to bet that class assignments are not the only writing we do. Most English majors have multiple pieces they are working on outside of their course load, like regularly writing for student newspapers, blogs, or online publications. This means we are not only under the pressure of our academic deadlines, but other weekly deadlines as well.

The need to take full advantage of random bursts of inspiration

I'll let you in on a secret -- I wrote most of this article during an afternoon class. If you see me furiously scribbling in a notebook during class, as much as I'd like to say I am taking notes, it's more likely that I'm jotting down ideas for a story. Sometimes the ideas just don't come to us for days at a time, and sometimes when they finally do, it's when we're totally zoned out at a lecture.

We regularly edit our friends' papers.

We will always be the go-to friend when there's a paper that needs editing. Perfectionism is part of the job description-- we literally take classes on how to read manuscripts, edit for punctuation and grammar, and give writers constructive feedback. We really don't mind this much, either-- Sometimes reading someone else's paper is a welcomed break from re-reading our own work for what feels like the thousandth time.

Our laptops are almost physically attached to us.

English majors are arguably the most technology dependent group of college students. For one, all of our projects and writings are saved here. Just the thought of losing those sends us into borderline hysteria. Because news and journalism is such a huge part of our lives, social media is another obsession of ours. It is how we attempt to stay up to date on current events everyday. Basically what I'm trying to say is if you try to take away our laptops, expect us to put up a fight.

We don't just specialize in English.

We as English majors wear many hats, and have full belief in our skills in all subjects, not just English. Need your dreams analyzed? An English major's got you. I mean, we have studied the psychological approach, after all. We're basically psychology majors too. We are also knowledgable in the areas of history and different cultures. You don't just read To Kill a Mockingbird and various Shakespearian works without at least a little historical background. But don't worry, the one thing we won't even pretend we can do is math.

Being asked what we are doing with our degrees

We'll have you know, it is not a pointless degree, and no, we're not going into teaching. English is the degree for many important jobs in today's world, including journalism, publishing, and public relations. Although it may take some of us more time than others to find our place, we all eventually discover where we professionally belong with our English degree in hand.

The best and the worst part of being an English major is that as soon as we finish reading or writing one piece, it's time to work on another one. As tiring and frustrating as it can sometimes be living the weekly grind of an English major, it's our passion for a reason, and we could never picture ourselves in any other area.

Cover Image Credit: hercampus.com

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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