Not Your Stereotypical English Major

Being an English major is cool and all, but I think it’d be so much cooler if I was the stereotypical English major. I joined the game kind of late; I declared my major first semester sophomore year. I feel like most English majors just KNEW that they were meant to be an English major since before college even started, but not me. I decided to declare English as my major because I feel that I’m actually a pretty strong writer, and I even kind of enjoy writing.

wordpressFirst of all, I don’t look like an English major. I feel like English majors just look smart. They look like they have it together, like they know what they’re doing. Most of them dress business casual on a day-to-day basis, they’re always carrying around water bottles and some kind of book. Me? I have a Monroe piercing, my hair is always frizzy, there’s almost always Dunkin Donuts iced coffee in my hand, and I dress for comfort (like a bum) about 98% of the time.

English majors have this intelligence about them, it’s hard to explain. They can magically understand anything written by Shakespeare in about 5 minutes, whereas I’ll probably never understand Shakespeare. Not only do they understand Shakespeare, they enjoy him! They think his language is beautiful and he’s just pure genius. They can talk about him for hours on end. They love Shakespeare for reasons I’ll never understand.

The love for reading. Ah yes, every English major can spend days at a time buried in a good book. English majors read all the time, we read for fun, we read in our spare time, we just love reading! Right? Wrong. The stereotypical English major yeah, maybe. Again, not me. I actually hate reading. I just feel that there’s better things I can be spending my time on, like playing with my cat! But really, all of my English major peers LOVE reading. They’ve all read about a million books in their free time. The last time I read a book in my free time was my freshman year of high school and it was maybe 150 pages long.

I’ve only taken about 7 major courses so far and it seems like I’m the only one of my kind. Everyone is super into the material, they look the part, and they definitely act the part. They love being English majors. Being an English major is just alright. It’s not life changing. Sometimes when I do understand the books we read, they’re good. I enjoy writing papers instead of taking exams, that part is pretty nice. What don’t I like? I don’t like that I really don’t understand the books we read about half the time. Maybe it’s too early to tell because I’m only 7 courses deep, we’ll see. I also don’t like how time consuming it is, but I knew that when I signed on.

The moment I actually came to the realization that I’m not the stereotypical English major was my first day of class junior year. My professor was talking about the book we were going to start reading that day and she was comparing it to books that have similar content. Everyone in the class knew exactly what books she was talking about- everyone. All 23 of them. But not number 24. Not me! I’ve never even heard the titles of the books she was talking about. I was lost! Overall, not being the stereotypical English major kind of takes the fun out of being an English major. I don’t feel connected with my peers and I’m always trying to play catch up in my classes. Maybe I should’ve done law enforcement? Too late now.