Yes, I’m an English Major

Yes, I’m an English Major. And no, I could never say “I’m studying English” or “I major in English.” No. I am an English Major, it’s my identity. It’s who I’ve been long before I discovered who I am today. It is a part of me that saw its beginnings when I was five and my mama would read my favorite children’s books and I would make “just one more” turn into “okay, this is really the last book.” Or maybe even when I was seven and I found my first muse — my gremlin chihuahua Bob — and I would write my first story about how much I loved him. 

Yes, I’m an English Major. And yes, it is a big part of being an English Major, but I love books. Nothing has brought me more comfort as a good book has since I discovered the power of reading on my own. I immersed myself in YA stories because of the escapist qualities they carried, I won’t lie about that. But, I also read them to learn and to analyze because I wanted to write and I wanted to go deeper. I wanted to talk about words that were more than just words, and I wanted to do it with people who were just as excited as I was about the words that were more than just words.



i wear white overalls, therefore, i am a lighthouse keeper

A post shared by no (@noellemonge) on

Yes, I’m an English Major. And yes, I geek out about the authors who paved the way for me to not only see the words as more than words but allowed me to see myself in them, too. I am so passionate about Mary Shelley and her creature from Frankenstein because I understand that she dared to write about her pain and to publish it under her own name. I want to buy the flowers myself like Mrs. Dalloway. I dream about Maya Angelou’s poems so much, dreams of me rising and rising until my head is in the clouds. Angela Carter, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Elif Bautman, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and so many others bring me comfort and have also been part of my growth. Yes, I’m an English Major. And yes, I don’t think I was exposed to as much diversity as I should have been in my English classes. I don’t want to blame my professors for that, but I think the problem lies somewhere bigger, in what has been held as the standard in collegiate curriculums, most especially at primarily white institutions. There may have been a point in time where people of color could not be afforded a higher level of education and recognition in this country, but now more than ever we need to hear voices that sound much like ours. Let our stories be told by us. 

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by no (@noellemonge) on

Yes, I’m an English Major. And yes, being an English Major has taken me on some amazing adventures. Bookshop dates and peer review sessions and traversing the moors and having those “words more than words” conversations with some of my best friends. Hell, it’s even led me on an adventure to meet said best friends! Being an English Major has given me the confidence to dare and to dream and to be myself and to share myself with other people. It’s given me the confidence to talk about the things that matter to me, turning what used to be shivers of shyness into trembles of passion and power. 

Yes, I’m an English Major. And in less than a week, I will be an English Major graduate with a whole Bachelor’s degree! But, no matter where I go after BU or whatever I decide to do with my undergraduate education, I will always be an English Major. It’s who I’ve been long before I discovered who I am today.


Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!