Why I Chose to Study English and What I Have Learned

In high school, I developed a love for English and writing. We studied writers in class, like Shakespeare and Bradbury, and it fascinated me how their words and ideas continue to move and provoke us even long after they are deceased. To me, it seemed that writing was magical, borderless; writers had the power to transcend history and reach across different nations, affecting a multitude of people.

To say that choosing to study English post-secondary has always been easy would be untrue. After hearing comments like “An English degree? What are you going to do with that?” or “Are you sure you can find a job in the Arts?”, I wavered and decided to let my passions be just a hobby. Fearing uncertainty and the unknown, I contemplated prospective careers and degrees that would land me job security, although the reality of actually working a job that did not interest me scared me more than the perceived impossible notion that finding a job in the Arts.

I was quickly aware of my own unhappiness and decided to pursue my initial passion, English. On larger scale, taking courses in creative writing helped me learn about myself, find my voice, self-awareness, and a sense of identity that I am eternally grateful for. Also, meeting fellow English majors who share the same interests and passions is empowering, since I know they too may have also faced the same challenges and setbacks, yet still continue to follow their interests and passions.

Go into the arts… [t]hey are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

— Kurt Vonnegut

To those undecided on which path to take, I urge you to invest in your passions.


Open Book Library Education by lil_foot via Pixabay. License: CC0 Creative Commons.

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