The Life of an English Major!

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:

The Perks!

  • 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!

The Downsides!

  • 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!


6 thoughts on “The Life of an English Major!

  1. Whenever I see my name I still blush because someone actually liked what I said xD You already know my thoughts on this subject (duh) but I just have to comment because Things Fall Apart was one of the best books I read in college!

    Oh and the over-analyzing + too much reading sucks as well. I was reading an average of 400 pages a week when I was in classes 🙁 It kind of takes away that love after a while…

    Oh – one other thing! If you can, take an African Lit class. That was one of my favorite, and Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire is one I recommend even if you don’t take a class like that. DO IT!

    1. Yeah “Things Fall Apart” was great! It had a good storyline, and I had never read anything like that before. African Lit class sounds cool! I think I have a book in my Ethnic Literature class I’m taking now, I’m pretty excited to read it. 🙂

  2. When I was an English major:

    The perks

    * I was introduced to Ayn Rand whom I instantly took to liking. I love The Fountainhead.
    * Doing some term papers on a novel of my own choice and on a play. I was exposed to Moliere’s The Misanthrope during the Drama class and some ancient Greek dramas like Oedipus and Antigone.
    * And, allow me to repeat your words, I was doing what I always loved to do since first year in high school.


    * I was not required to read much. (But I made myself read more than the requirement just because the love of literature “constraineth me”.)
    * I had to read Petals of Blood and Things Fall Apart which I did not like at all. It is funny that I being an African failed to enjoy one of the books that many readers believe the best.
    *Sadly, almost none of my classmates were enjoying literature classes so I had but only my teacher with whom to enjoy literary discussion.

    1. You didn’t like “Things Fall Apart”? I can understand though, because it’s not necessarily a happy book. I also have gotten to write a couple of papers plays as well, it’s a different experience compared to writing about about books. And it always seems book readers were always the most enthusiastic about reading in lit classes, lol, it’s a common trait among us.

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