So You Want to Be an English Major?

By Erin McGuire


“You are never going to get a job.” Those are the dreaded words that every English major hears, possibly on a daily basis.

Honestly, you should be studying what you love, not what will pay you the most money, simply because in the future, I might be at a low paying job writing in some magazine nobody has ever heard of, but at least I’ll be doing what I love—writing.

I would rather be happy with little money than miserable at some job that I cannot stand.

That being said, becoming an English major leaves you with so many different opportunities.

You could become the biggest writer in the world with the best-selling novel, you could be the New York Times’s editor-in-chief or even teach a student only to have them become an editor for Time magazine.

How about I give you some examples of people who did not end up living in their parent’s basement trying to write the next biggest science fiction novel?

Barbra Walters graduated with a degree in English, Andrea Jung (the CEO of Avon) studied English Literature, Joan Cusack, Jodie Foster, Sally Ride, Diane Sawyer, Reese Witherspoon and Lena Dunham all majored in English (Bustle). Even people like Sting, Conan O’Brien, and Steven Spielberg studied English in college (BusinessInsider).

English is an amazing thing to study! Who can say that they get to read and write for a living?

You have the power to create worlds with your words, to shape the opinions of others. We are the creative minds of the world, and as long as there are thoughts and events to be recorded, we will be there to write them.

I love being an English major. I love that I was able to forget about what all the cynics have to say, and do what I love. There is nothing more amazing than being assigned a book for a class and actually really enjoying it.

I mean don’t get me wrong, there are some snoozers that are assigned, but I tend to look past them because most are pretty incredible.

Then there are the five ten-page papers you have to write because all your professors seem to like bombarding you with them all at once, but writing a ten page paper about a book or topic that actually interests you turns out being fairly painless.

So, become an English major! I promise that you do not have to love Shakespeare and drink Starbucks all day to be one of us.

You will not have to know all the classic novels, and spend your time waiting for people to make grammatical errors when speaking, just so you can correct them.

You do not have to be a walking grammar book to be an English major. Your love of reading and writing will suffice, everything grammatical will come after.

Choosing a major is possibly one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is not like there are any right or wrong picks, but anything that is not English is just lackluster in comparison. So pick us, you will not be disappointed.

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