I am not afraid to admit that I have no idea what I am going to do with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. I am sure many English majors can relate very well with the frustration of constantly receiving this question – “So what are you going to do with it? Teach?” It appears to dwell in the minds of many today that the only field that involves the English language is education. That is a severe misconception to hold on to. If one assumes that the only function of language is to communicate, he or she has underestimated the power of language to form and shape our thinking which impacts our lives on a very direct and personal level.
While I cannot deny that getting published and moving hearts through stories that I have crafted is an extremely attractive notion, it is not my motivation behind being an English major. I am aware that the path to achieving that is not an English degree but hard work and perseverance instead. However, the charm of carefully sculpted sentences has captivated my heart and this has produced in me a great desire to scrutinize this discipline and invite it to delight me over and over again.
Nonetheless, my study of the English language does far more than merely delight me. It has shed light on issues that matter but usually go unnoticed and introduced challenging new perspectives for me to adopt in my life. I am not ashamed that I do not have concrete career goals. They do not define me and that is an insufficient reason for me to labor away hours of my life. My area of study is a tool which I use to glean joy out of the inevitable pains that come with living a life of vulnerability and honesty. I live such a life because no other way of living makes sense to me. This is why I chose to study the English language and literature.
My notions may appear to be extremely idealistic and naïve to the wiser and those who have lived longer than me. Yet I do not think that there is a better time to be so than right now, at the age of twenty. If they hold up for the rest of my life, then I shall rejoice. If my notions fall through as life progresses, then I will get hurt. Still I believe that in those moments, the joys of literature will pull me out of the depths of pain and I shall emerge changed but still wholly in love with language, literature and life.