I'm an English major....and I'm proud (or at least I try to be)

   As an English Literature major I am used to the following conversation:
Person: What are you majoring in? 
Me: English
Person: oh....so...what are you going to do with that?

   There is also the family variety in which the relative asks about college, not-so-secretly hoping that you have changed your major to something more useful. Like education or nursing or science. Those majors are all well and good for people who enjoy them, but for someone who loves language and reading it would be torture to be stuck doing something else. Trust me, I know. I've tried. I spent several semesters striving for a major in science since that is what my family pushed me to do. Not to blame them, they just want "the best" for me. And society says that science is one of the best majors. I tried nursing, then biology, then finally health. Finally I was desperate and starting to dislike college. And the future looked bleak, being stuck doing something I wasn't passionate about. Finally I went with my heart and declared myself a literature major, to the utter disappointment of my family. After years of talking about majoring in public health and working for the CDC (I had convinced myself this was what I wanted to do) the idea of me being a penniless loser English major was disappointing. About a year later my family has gotten used to the idea, but I still get a sense that they would prefer me being a major in science. 
 
This is all hard on a college student. A student's worst nightmare is graduating in debt and being unable to find a job. So on top of that fear, I have everyone I talk to assuming my degree is worthless and that I'm going to fail. But what everyone doesn't understand is that I would rather do something I love, and fail, than be stuck in something safe and regret what could have been. I may look back and think this frame of mind was stupid, but it is what I feel and what I must do. 
 
So all of this somewhat incoherent rambling is to say: I am proud of being a literature major even if everyone else is not. It is time to quit sacrificing myself for the happiness of others and do what I feel is right. In the famous words of my hero Martin Luther: "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen".


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