Feeling Misunderstood

if you’ve read my about section titled “me myself and I” you probably noticed that i’m English major. it’s one of the first things i mention about myself next to my name. and let me tell you, most days i am proud of that fact. But it also causes me a lot of grief. i also spend A LOT of my time feeling misunderstood. it’s like people have these preconceived notions about English Majors. and I’m saying “heck NO!”

  • my most frequently asked question when people find out what i study is “So, you want to teach?” trust me, if i wanted to teach I’d be English ed major instead. I don’t normally say that, but i really would prefer not to teach. If i did find myself teaching i’d go nuts in about 5 minutes or less. besides, my lack of people skills would more than ensure that i probably wouldn’t be good at it. anyways, there are plenty of jobs for english majors that don’t require us to teach. you just have to know where to go looking. 
  • no one seems to understand it in the first place – not even my parents and friends. my parents tend to ask how school was, and i usually get pretty excited and start talking about how AWESOME it was, what happened in class. It usually takes less than a minute before they get disinterested because they don’t understand. &one of my best friends loves books about as much as i do. But she doesn’t major in English, and i really don’t blame her. 
  • People tend to automatically assume that i have a large vocabulary BECAUSE i’m English major. No, i have a large vocab because i spend time reading and building it that way. really, not that hard. this almost makes me more mad than getting asked if i want to teach. and i get teased. often. my friends and others do it to show affection, but more often than not if hurts my feelings just a little. 
  • and it seems like NO ONE understand what we have to go through to get the degree. it’s like DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO TAKE THREE ENGLISH CLASSES AT A TIME? apparently not. and it’s HARD, reading so many different books. and then you toss in what i refer to as paper writing season, and it lasts most of the semester. as if reading books upon books wasn’t bad enough, writing papers is worse. it takes a TON of time. and it’s not always glamorous. Most days i feel like my brain has been sufficiently squeegeed. seriously.  

but I do normally tend to feel understood in my Lit classes. It literally feels like going home, because we understand each other and don’t feel understood elsewhere, if that makes sense. we’re misfits. we’re know it all’s. some of us are a bit pretentious. we LOVE to argue about what we’re reading.  but it’s ok because it’s HOME. and no one really understands that unless they study what we study. and that’s ok. 

So yeah, I’m an English major. some days i love it. some days i seriously wonder what is WRONG with me to put up with it. but i will always be PROUD that i study English because it’s what i love. 


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