Thesis Journal: My Life as an English Major

Has anyone asked you what it’s like to be in your major? Not what is it like to take classes in your field of study, but how has your major shaped you? This is the question that was posed to us in my senior seminar. 


My professor has given us the task of writing 60 single spaced pages about our lives as an English major. He recommended that we write at least one page, four days a week. Considering I am constantly reading and writing as an English major, it seems like there is little to no time for writing a journal on the side, but because it’s for a grade, it’s getting written. It’s been really hard to get into the groove of things for the journal. At most I could only get a couple of paragraphs out. I would get distracted by a friend or another assignment was more pressing. However, something changed. 


My professor really got us thinking about how our major defines us. What are the little nuances to our personalities that have changed since becoming English majors? Some of us say we can knock out 1000 words in an hour if we need to, it won’t be great, but it’ll get written. Others find that they can’t watch a film or read a book without wanting to pick at the details. Someone said this made their dating life slightly unbearable. While our answers seemed silly, they were valid. I started to notice the little English major in me screaming when I had to write papers. She would analyze as much as she could and would make conclusions quickly. 


I’m also balancing my life as a Creative Writing minor as well. The journal has helped me maintain that balance. How can I find the divide between myself as a writer and reader, both analytically and creatively? 


Well, it’s made me realize that I have a lot to release about the major. So often I’ve found that there are readings that I do not want to read and cannot get into. Some days I get really excited to talk about something through the perspective of a writer. It’s really easy for me to appreciate how someone created their characters or how they got to the points they wanted to make in their analysis. It’s made me more constructively critical of myself as a writer. The journal has made me realize that I can put myself into the works and find meaning. 


So the next time you question yourself on those late nights you’re struggling to study for that exam or write that paper, take time to reflect on your major and why you chose it. Maybe you’ll begin to realize that you’re not just here for a degree but to learn everyday skills you can use in the future.