If you spend hours reading classic literature, dream of being a hit novelist, and have an unnatural love of coffee, odds are: you’re an English major.
Regardless of what college you attend, every major has a few distinguishing characteristics, from argumentative political science majors to creative visual art majors — and if you’re “majoring in essays,” you’re no exception. Here are a few things all English majors know to be true:
1. You love reading and writing.
And yes, you’re good at it. Succeeding as an English major is almost impossible if you don’t enjoy these things at least a little bit, because you’re doing a lot of it. You might even have a little nook in the corner of your room specifically for these precious activities!
2. You actively update your Goodreads account — and people actually read your reviews.
You know a good book when you see one, since you’ve read so many, and your Goodreads followers trust you to let them know your finds. Your reviews are stellar, honest, and plentiful. In fact, you probably provide status updates throughout your reading sessions, and often have several books on your “currently reading” shelf.
3. You’re always asked: “What jobs can you even get with your major?”
There are just as many jobs for English majors as there are for STEM students. The analytical skills required in all of our literary analysis essays prepare us for the most mentally challenging careers out there. Some even want to be teachers. Plus, every business needs writers — whether it is to create newsletters, write speeches, or design websites. Everywhere you see words, there has been a writer: trust us, there is no shortage of jobs for English majors.
4. You daydream about writing in coffee shops on rainy days.
Maybe you even have an acoustic playlist on your smartphone that can accompany your dramatic, Tumblr-esque fantasy.
5. Bookstores are your happy place.
Not to mention the fact that they are usually attached to coffee shops, bookstores house hundreds, if not thousands, of worlds to explore, all within the confines of new, not-dog-eared pages. The worst part is deciding which ones to buy!
6. You feel guilty if there’s something you haven’t read in the literary canon.
It’s as if you will be publicly shamed for having never read Hamlet or Jane Eyre (you probably won’t, but you still feel guilty). Alternatively, you likely get upset when people haven’t read your favorite classics, like the works of Emily Dickinson or Jane Austen.
7. You have to apologize to friends after you edit their essays.
Your friends are lucky enough to have expert editors at their fingertips, but it’s easy for you to get carried away. You have to constantly reassure them that all your red ink is intended to make them better — not to shame them! You’re just happy to help.
8. Your bookshelves are overflowing, and you’re running out of space.
It doesn’t help that every time you pass a bookstore, you have to pick up a new novel — regardless of how many more you have at home waiting to be read.
9. You don’t have any finals — just a bunch of lengthy essays.
It can be time-consuming, but it beats the high-pressure stress of cumulative exams that the other majors have to endure. You can edit your papers as many times as you want, so you’ll always be confident in what you turn in.
Being an English major in college is incredibly rewarding, despite any scrutiny from anti-humanities folks. Although we’re stuck with essays and analyses all the time, we get to read and write all day, every day — and what could be more fun than that?