“You’re majoring in English? So, you want to teach?” is the main follow-up question I get asked when people find out my major; from both other students and strangers. It’s automatically assumed that the only reason I’d major in English is to become a teacher. English teachers are awesome and I’m immensely grateful for the onesI had during my high school career. Though, this isn’t the plan for me. If I’m not being asked about teaching English, I’m getting questioned on what I can actually do with an English degree. The answer is that the possibilities are limitless.
My English professor said it best: English is in everything. We’re constantly reading and writing every day. As an English major, I just do it at a higher concentration (and for my enjoyment). English also teaches me a lot more than just ways to be a better writer. It induces discussion and deliberation. In my first year English class, Writing About Texts, we read a chapter of out novel and spent an hour and fifteen minutes discussing it. We based our discussion on what we read, but also addressed a plethora of topics in entertainment, pop culture and the news. It’s human nature to talk about the words we consume, to provoke new thoughts and ideas. My English course really breaks up the overload of lecture courses I have throughout the day with a roundtable discussion that truly allows me to use my voice. English is an extension of my thoughts translated on to paper, where I can edit and develop these mental objects into pieces of creativity (well, that’s usually the plan).
Writing papers is a skill needed across many courses, and it just so happens that I do a lot of that as an English major. At college, I work as a writing tutor and have helped people with papers for their English classes, as well as history and sociology courses. English ties into many courses, and can do a great job of leading the way with strength in writing and critical reading (which are vital skills).
So, what can I do with an English degree? The career path for English depends entirely on what the degree holder wants in their life. The careers don’t have to be directly in English, but can branch off into other disciplines. If they have a passion for teaching, they’ll teach. If they love to write, they’ll aspire to be an author, or journalist, or free-lancer. Want to work in public relations? Go for it. Interested in the law? Lawyer school it is. I love English and that’s why I’m studying it. It just so happens that its dynamic versatility is just a plus.
Are any of you also studying English? Let me know in the comments!