Midwestern Region Student Representative
Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter
Stephens College, Columbia, MO
One of the biggest questions English majors always face is, “What are you planning to do with that degree?” From family dinners to meeting new people, even fellow peers, it’s a question that feels daunting, but it does make you wonder. What am I to do with my degree?
It’s a question that I faced when I first arrived at Stephens College as a freshman in the fall of 2013. I always answered with a cheery, “Everything. I want to do everything I can with my degree.” That’s the beauty of being an English major; the possibilities and opportunities are endless.
In the words of the omnipotent Dragon from John Gardner’s Grendel, “Find your gold and sit on it.” In other words, ask yourself: “What interests me? What do I love? Why did I choose English in the first place?”
In the beginning of my college career, I didn’t know what career path to choose. I was interested in everything and took various classes including Scriptwriting and a Poetry and Fiction Workshop, but it wasn’t until I joined the staff of Harbinger, our literary journal, that I found my passion for editing. I realized I wanted to find, to edit, and publish, the next great American novel, not write it.
In college, you have four incredible years to learn, grow, and discover where you want to go after graduation. You don’t have to decide as soon as you arrive on campus. Take different classes that fit your interests, participate in workshops, even take an acting class. (John Hamm from Mad Men graduated with a BA in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia.)
Being an English major means having a flexible degree, one that can open up and spread over various fields, research areas, and careers. All you have to do is find your interests, write down your dream goals, and pursue them.
If you’ve already found your niche, comment below on what your focus as an English major is and how you came to that decision.