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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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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Here's Why You Find Lara Jean The Most Relatable Character Ever

If you haven't seen this movie, you've got to!

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First of all, let's just say this is the cutest teen movie I've ever seen in my life.

All of the characters, while some of them may be a little trope-y, they're done in a way that makes them all authentic, honest and original. I love them all.

Everyone has a back story and is explained well enough that you know what their role is. Some movies don't do this well. Even though you basically know what's going to happen, because, at the end of the day it is still a teen movie, you're going to sob and maybe even scream.

But back to my queen, Lara Jean, and why she's the absolute best

1. She Has Amazing Style

Were y'all keeping up with the fact that she was putting complete and total looks together that entire time? From the socks to the scrunchies, to the shoes; she looked great every single day! I really can't even believe Gen tried to come for her? Rude.

2. Her Best Friend Is Also Cool

Chris AND Lara Jean together?! Stylish, fashionable, hilarious: iconic! 10/10, I love their friendship and how they're the only ones each other trusts. The way they take care of and look out for one another is great. Plus they both have such great personalities.

3. She Daydreams

I love how Lara Jean lives in her own head. She has all these ideas of what love is because she's read about it and imagined it, but she's never experienced it before. Reminds me of someone I know (me).

4. She Pushes People Away

Not necessarily a positive thing about her, but this makes Lara Jean a real person and less like every other perfect fairytale, teen romance movie to ever be made. She has a problem letting people in and her background and the dialogue in the movie actually explains why.

5. She's Not One Of The Popular Kids

Whenever they make a teen movie, there's always the popular kids and I love when the protagonist/main character isn't one of them. I wasn't one of them in high school, so making movies about the cool kids doesn't make them easy to root for.

6. She's a Person of Color

Do you know how great it is to see a POC as the lead in a teen movie? I watch a lot of these because I'm garbage and it's usually a blonde white girl who's like stereotypically attractive but not "popular," and it just makes the movie harder to relate to. I think having the lead be a person of color makes the movie a little more accessible to more people. Because people who look like Lara Jean can see themselves in her and it's important for young people of all types to be recognized in media so they can feel heard and understood. I just love that!

7. She Wins In The End

Even After Gen was terrible to her the whole movie and she lost Peter, Josh and her own freakin' sister, she eventually gets the boy and repairs her relationship with her best friend and her sister! Ahhh, We love a happy ending!

As I said before, this is truly one of the greatest movies I've seen in a very very very long time. All of the characters are so likable, even Lara Jean's dad. It's like "Mean Girls" but so much cuter and less dramatic.

As a fan of the genre of teen romance, I'm glad a movie like this exists, with a woman of color as the lead and a sad backstory, but a cute and witty family. It's truly all the things I ever wanted in a teen romance.

Thanks, "To All the Boys I've Loved Before."

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