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Like any college major, everyone faces the heat of its stereotypes. Being an English major comes with a lot of emotional baggage and we’re not talking about the tragedies of Shakespeare, but the endless rants of it..

1. An English degree does not pay well because it’s useless. 

Uhm, not true! With this kind of economy, all degrees are in danger of being useless. Statistically, STEM majors have a higher probability of better pay, but who is to say that an English degree is worthless? An English degree ensures that you have skills such as critical thinking, writing, and speaking – all of which is valuable in all fields of work. Can someone really have a job where one does not write or speak at all? Highly doubt it. A degree is useful as long as you put it to use and apply it purposefully.

 

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2. An English degree means you either want to be teacher or a writer. 

WRONG AS WELL! An English degree is applicable in many fields; such as law, medicine, business, and politics for example. It is a broad field that rewards one for being well-rounded because of its diversity. For instance, a student attending law school with an English degree can really benefit from years of studying and practicing critical-thinking and writing. Be creative with HOW an English degree because the possibilities are not limitless.

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3. “It’s an easy major.”

Reading old Latin poems, translating Beowulf, and then presenting a 10-pager on an in-depth analysis of modern feminism in Anglo-Saxon culture from two lines is not easy. Sparknotes is not going to be enough for research projects and juggling other reading intensive courses. Part of many English majors’ requirements are to fulfill a second language and learning another language is hard. English professors are notorious for almost never giving out an A, so be prepared for rewrites and tears.

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4. What can one learn from an English degree? 

So much! It’s not just endless Shakespeare and grammar checking. Because it is a broad major, there are a variety of classes that can be taken to fulfill it. Many universities such as UCLA offers upper-division courses such as war trauma, geography, film, and medicine. English is about what can be read, so anything that has been published (literature, film, art, etc.) is also going to apply. Other than gaining critical-thinking and writing skills, a student will also gain communication and research skills that can be molded for different industries. It’s a rewarding major that makes a person more well-rounded and aware of the world.

 

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The possibilities of learning is endless with an English degree and who is to say it is not valuable? Knowledge is power and a degree is only as valuable as the person using it. Doing something you love is better than following the school trend. May the endless rants of being an English major be in your favor!


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Denise Pham

Part-time Banana Slug, part-time Bruin. I love long walks to the refrigerator. Catch me on the West Coast.


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