English majors: what seems to be a dying breed, a very judged major, and the definition of who I am.
Whenever I get asked my major, I always get two looks.
The first? Pity. The individual is most likely to look at me and say the following sentence: “oh so you want to be a teacher?” This is then followed by me explaining that I want to go into editing and publishing, NOT teaching.
What happens next is the second look: confusion. Why would someone go into editing and publishing?
Is that even still a business?
Why is she majoring in English when she speaks it perfectly?
I am not majoring in English because I do not know what I want to do with my life. I am majoring it in it because it is what I love.
I love diving deeper into novels and analyzing the symbols and imagery that can be seen within them. I love writing essays. I love everything about the English language.
However, the dissatisfaction and confusion does not only come from those older than me but also my peers.
When asked my major by those around me, I always get the same: “Oh wow, that’s easy.”
Really Jeff, then why aren't you majoring in it? I know for a fact that my major is far from easy.
For starters, I know that I read triple than what you do in your STEM major. You know what else? Just because I do not have “exams,” does not mean I have nothing; I have 300 point essays that can tear your grade apart if not done perfectly.
I am in no way discrediting STEM majors, but I also am not going to glamorize them like everyone else does. They are another major. I respect STEM and also have come to the conclusion that it is not for me.
Another thing: just because you can write an essay, does not mean you could write an English major essay.
Our professors look at every little grammatical error, everything needs to be formatted to the T, and word count/ page length is another story. We don’t play.
So please, continue to tell me you could easily be an English major. I do not act like I know what biology and calculus are all about, and I would love it if you could do the same.
We are unique. We are creative.
Just because you do not see that, does not mean we are not.
So to the English major who is feeling discouraged by all the looks and eye rolls (I have received 2 just this week), stay strong. Remember why you chose this major. Remember what you love about it. Remember the feeling you have when writing a poem or a story, or hey, even an article.
Do not let your creative and unique personality be altered because of those who view the English language differently. I have come to accept the fact that not everyone is going to get it, and that is okay.
I get it. I get me, and I know what I want. And in all honesty, that is all I truly need.