What It Means to be an English Major in Gifs

By Beth Winze

Someone told me the other day that they do not understand what it means to be an English major.  And this is honestly something I run across more often then not — that, or they automatically assume I am set out to be a grade school or high school teacher.  Wrong.  In fact, just the idea of teaching terrifies me…you see, I am not a public speaker and I never fit in as a high schooler so combining those two and dealing with them daily is worse then dreaming about going to class with no pants on in my mind.  Plus, I love reading and writing, so I prefer to dream about editing and publishing so I can be snoopy into other people’s writing works AND help them along with their dream to be a published author.  But that’s besides the point of this post.  I sat down and made a list of what it means to be an English major.  And quite frankly, it cracks me up.  So I invite you into my mind as an English major and hopefully the minds of most of us.  Or this post might be helpful in directing you if you are on the precipice of deciding to join the ravishing major that is us Englishers.

1.  Our romantic ideals make it nearly impossible for anyone to measure up.  Sorry, friend, but you are no Mr. Darcy, Augustus Waters, or  Edward Rochester.  


2. We totally nerd out over new pens, journals, and stationery sets.  Seriously it’s a problem.  But we also tend to struggle writing in them because we might mess them up, or goodness forbid, have to rip a page out.


3. We cannot and I mean CANNOT read books without seeing a deeper meaning.  A sentence like: “The cat jumped out of the bag and into his owner’s arms” is interpreted to life afflictions such as, “The cat removed itself from the safety of it’s known comfort and jumped into the foreboding arms of the unknown.”  And unfortunately, it’s not something we can turn off.


4. Getting multiple bookshelves is not even a question.  It hurts to pack your beloved books in a box, ergo, they must be housed in multiple units.

Black books dancing

5. Correcting someone’s improper grammar often finds us deeply satisfied.  But we also hate being labeled Grammar Nazi’s.  I much prefer Grammar Police: To correct and serve.


6. Book hangovers are a very real thing to us.  A character dies, a part of us dies along with them.


7. We miss college because Socratic discussions gave you an excuse to ignore reality and to divulge in works of literature that spoke to our hearts.


8. Then there is the very real annoyance when people try to “inform” you that English is a useless major in which you will eat ramen noodles the rest of your life because that’s all you will be able to afford.


9. We narrate our own lives in our heads.  We are our own character in life’s novel.


10. We are consistently told that we are irrationally emotional.

case of emotion

11. We refuse the eBook culture and embrace the tree-destroying one, because nothing beats the feel of a book in your hands.


12. The smell of books beats any blunt, joint, or cig one would ever smoke to get high.  This one is a natural high we live for.


13. Maths and sciences are an actual fear.


14. Writer’s block is an all too familiar friend.


15. And finally.  The hardest one yet.  Trying to decide how honest you need to be when your non-English major friends ask you to proof their papers.  Save a friendship or save a teacher’s eyes….decisions, decisions.  


And there you have it.  What it means to be an English major in gifs.  Come on, isn’t it at least a little funny?


3 Replies to “What It Means to be an English Major in Gifs”

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