The Life and Times of the English Major

The Life and Times of the English Major

Why I wanted a useless degree.


When I first stepped foot onto the campus of UNC Charlotte, I knew that I was home. The stress of work, moving, starting over, and every other chaotic thing happening in my life simply disappeared. I had direction again. I had purpose. I had a new chapter opening up with endless possibilities. Charlotte offered me the fresh start I was craving. It was a new area where I knew almost no one and I could become a new person. I was in college and ready to change the world. How would I do this? By choosing a major that would set me up for the most successful future imaginable. English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Let the job offers and millions of dollars pour in.

My first mistake was thinking that this wasn't going to be difficult for me. I mean I've loved writing since I was a kid. But I love writing stories that I make up. Writing a paper on the comparisons of trauma in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and Art Spiegelman's Maus wasn't exactly something that I would have written on my own time. I also read. A lot. Some of it was great. The Son by Phlipp Meyer is probably the greatest book I've ever read (and is about to become a miniseries on AMC so check it out). But I read a lot of books that took more work to get through. And the volume of books was at times overwhelming. To those who didn't go through this type of gauntlet, reading a novel a week in two classes, writing a short story that your entire class would read and critique in front of you, writing analytical papers on books you hated, and still finding time for your other classes, sleep, social life is no joke.

Now I didn't go into this completely blind. I knew getting an English degree was somewhat risky. That's why I played it safe and minored in Film Studies. You know, a skill to fall back on. But it wasn't until I started getting these emails that I truly saw what I was getting into. Every few months or so, I would get an email from the Department of English basically telling me that I wasn't wasting my time and that being an English major was totally a good idea. While it seemed like an encouraging, reassuring email, complete with a list of jobs I could get with an English degree, I couldn't help but think that engineering majors didn't get these same emails. And while having my roommates and non-liberal arts friends ask me to edit their papers made me feel like a genius, I did wonder if I had made the right choice. Do people care how many books I've read or that I know the difference between your and you're? What would life be like for me after college?

Surprisingly enough, I have a job. A good job. Benefits and everything. Not surprising, I'm not using my degree as much as I'd like. I do get the occasional opportunity to run a creative writing clinic or talk about making comic books (I work with kids). I'm also in the process of applying to grad school so I can teach creative writing at the college level and continue the vicious cycle. For now, I'll continue reading and writing as much as possible because it's what I love to do. I may not be equipped for much, but I wouldn't trade the coffee fueled late nights and the small forest I killed via completely pointless papers that lead me to my degree for anything.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments