The Trials And Tribulations Of An English Major
Start writing a post
Entertainment

The Trials And Tribulations Of An English Major

The epiphany: English majors have it tough.

28
The Trials And Tribulations Of An English Major

The setting: The English House.

The time: Dusk.

The scene: Just after having attended a panel of English majors talking about their post-English major career trajectory.

The epiphany: English majors have it tough.

They struggle. They are passionate, but it is a rough world out there for those nascent English graduates who have heads full of Eliot and Woolf and other literary paraphernalia. Though I would have no personal experience with that except for the fact that I am three years away from being one of them; passion at their fingertips ready to be spilled onto paper from the mind and yet, the cloud of ambiguity, dense with terms like “financial security” and “stable careers”, hovers above them.

After having heard four brilliant people—to say nothing of the professors and facilitators of the event—expound upon the shaky balance of love and money that the English major entails, and yet, how they found happiness within their careers, I felt at once inspired by their passion and disappointed by the stereotypes of English majors that are prevalent in college.

Why is it that the publishing industry is so hard to break into? Why is it that journalism has “job insecurity” printed in the margins alongside its columns? Why does the general public write off publishing editors as an unhappy lot?

Meeting alumni (though happy with their jobs and attributing this success to their English major) all working in fields that did not directly correspond to writing and literature in the conventional sense both excited and disappointed me. While the event was centered around raising more awareness of the transferability and flexibility of an English major, it also, in a nutshell, crushed my highbrow, rainbow-glittered and Woolf-Room-Of-One’s-Own-inspired dreams.

After having edited, written for, and worked for newspapers and magazines—in an attempt to test the waters for myself—I considered myself sure about my future. To hell with the expectations of society, I said. Lighter in the pocket, I said, but surely richer in the heart. Do the pressures of college (a sheltered bubble itself) force me to reconsider my future? Of course not.

But it cannot be denied that in a STEM-centered college world, the liberal arts college is the sole institution that still tries to nourish and keep alive the humanities, and in this case, the English major. Sadly, as the event I attended displayed, more emphasis was given to trying to defend the major than trying to explore it. Sadly, there exists the need to defend a major that has so much value and importance.

I left the event with mixed feelings. Yet I know, perhaps as an outcome of writing this, now more than ever, that it takes a different sort of certainty to be able to commit not just four years of education, but a lifetime of passion to a field of study such as English. And as you will see with most English major students, it also takes a good deal of tough skin.

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

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

435
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

60414
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

86714
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

81846
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Health?

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

184863
Sleep Position

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments