Hey everyone! How are you?
So I got the idea for this post when I had a lovely Twitter conversation with Kayla from TheThousandLives (Go check out her fantastic blog) a couple of days ago! We were talking about reading and then a little bit about our experiences as an English major. So I thought I would talk about my own personal experience of literature (and other English classes) I’ve taken over the years. Especially the experiences in college as I’m currently working towards getting my Bachelor’s Degree.
I think I really became shaped by the literature classes I took when I was in high school. After all, it’s where I ultimately where I decided that I wanted to be an English major went to college. I loved the classes I was required to take much unlike my other classmates who weren’t reading enthusiasts as I was. I read many classics as I was taking American lit (cue “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne) and another year British Lit ( cue “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer and a “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley). Senior year, I had world literature, where I honesty felt I was exposed to the most stuff, I got to read books like “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. In high school I was the kid that wasn’t sneaking cell phones (they weren’t allowed) I was sneaking books into my classes to read them under my desk and textbooks. Haha! I actually got caught a couple of times.
In college I’ve really only taken literature classes as I this what I want to focus on as far as my studies also for when I go to grad school for my masters. In college, the array of English classes you can take is so vast! To name a few I’ve taken Modern Lit, Renaissance Lit (didn’t really like this class, honestly), American Lit, and Fiction. I even got to take a World Cinema class as an elective! That was so cool!
So I decided I should make a list of the perks and downsides to being an English major. Here it goes:
- Being exposed to different types of literature (I read a lot of novels I normally wouldn’t choose myself. )
- Talking to other people about books (You get to spazz out with other people about your favorite books and have intelligent discussions)
- Doing what you love!
- Being forced to read books that aren’t interesting at all (I’ve had this happen to me many times, I really tried my hardest to get into the book, but it wasn’t clicking with me)
- Reading huge chunks of books in a shot period of time (It’s especially hard when the novel is deep and complicated, digesting many pages at a time is hard)
Over-analyzing literature! ( This is probably my number one pet peeve of being an English major, some parts of novels aren’t always meant to be analyzed, teachers keep telling you to look for deeper meanings! Ummm..maybe the curtains were blue cause they were just blue, and not necessarily because the character is sad.)
So to all the other English majors out there, what are your personal experiences? What are your ups and downs of being an English major? Let me Know!
- English major (joannjlee.wordpress.com)
- In Defense of the (English) Major (thesethford.wordpress.com)
- Why Teach English? (newyorker.com)
- What’s an English major doing with magazines, anyways? (rosemarieonmagazine.wordpress.com)
- Top Distance Learning Universities for English Majors (college.answers.com)