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10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re An English Major

10 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re An English Major

Being an English major comes with a fair share of challenges that students need to overcome. Here are 10 things only those students will understand.

Every major is unique in its own way and English is definitely one of them. With lots of misconceptions about it with people thinking we are only reading, I made a list of things only an English major will understand to bring all of us together but also teach others few things about us.

1. You get to hear the annoying questions about your future more than any other major

Saying you’re an English major to basically anyone can cost you a lot of trouble and explaining since nobody really knows what we can do after finishing our studies. They all just think we don’t know what to do with ourselves so we bought some time by going to uni and doing something pointless. Most of them also joke about how we will end up in McDonald’s.

The truth is, there is so much you can do after studying English and most of us already have plans for the future. So please, stop with all the looks and questions, we will be just fine.


2. You become the Know-It-All who always points out other people’s grammar

Becoming the next Hermione Granger is written in our stars. Whenever we hear someone mispronounce a word or make a grammar mistake, we tend to jump in and correct them. Unfortunately, people don’t appreciate it as much as they should, but it’s their loss, we only want to help.

3. You find yourself talking about books no one except you really cares about

Starting any conversation with ‘So what’s your favourite book?’ is a must for an English major. Talking about our favourite or most hated novels is literally one of our hobbies and could take a few long hours if someone was willing to listen. Sadly, more often than not the collocutor is secretly wishing you would just shut up. Well, they can whistle for it.

4. You get a weird look from your friends when you finish a novel in one night

300 pages in 8 hours? Fine by me! However, most people just don’t seem to get its possible and that most of us just trained ourselves to be fast readers.


5. Or when you finish an 8 pages long paper in one night

Even if we don’t really know what we are talking about, we can most likely go around it and still write a long paper the night before the deadline. Sometimes we are even able to write a long essay on a book we didn’t even open; half of a lectured and a quick look at Sparknotes will do us just fine.

6. The Norton Shakespeare Anthology gives you nightmares

Not only is this big and heavy with over 3000 Bible-thin pages, but it’s also filled with old English words we don’t understand, but we need to because it’s Shakespeare and as an English major you are supposed to know most of it by heart.

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7. You complain about all the reading you have to do but you secretly love it

Having few chapters to read and annotate for the next day seems like a lot to do and while explaining the amount of work to friends, you most probably end your sentence with ‘I’m gonna die’. But as soon as you lock yourself in your room with tea and a massive blanket, you’re ready and excited.

8. Your roommates don’t understand your obsession with tea

Tea is essential when you’re reading or writing. It keeps most of us sane. However, if your roommates study something else, every time you walk into the kitchen, you’ll hear ‘Oh God, another one?’

9. And they don’t understand that staying in and reading a book is your idea of fun

After a long stressful week, all I want to do sometimes is wrap myself in a blanket and sit on my bed with a good book. However, your friends will most likely want you to go out with them to a club or a bar. Don’t get me wrong, most of us really enjoy going out, but on some days we just need to stay in. Accept that and move on.


10. Proofreading for other people is your job not everyone wants to pay you for

Most people understand that correcting a text is an actual job you need to pay for. However, especially peers, don’t really seem to get that and want you to proofread all their essays, even if you don’t have a clue what you’re reading about.

Are you an English major? Do you think there’s something missing from my list? Comment below!
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