What It's Like Being an English Major Who Lives with Science Majors

I’ve had the same roommates for the past four years of college, which not many people can say. They’ve become my best friends, the people I share everything with (and I mean everything), and I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve had with them for the world. We do, however, have our differences (what roommates don’t?), and over the course of the past three and a half years, I’ve come to discover some major differences that arise out of our very different majors. Here’s what it’s like being an English major in a house full of science-related majors.

1. They’re studying all the time.

Excuse me, what? You mean you have to physically open up a text book and read over notes for eight hours at a time for a multiple-choice test that will decide 20% of your grade? No thanks. I’ll sit here drinking my wine and reading Don DeLillo’s White Noise or whatever novel my class requires me to read this week.

2. They come to me for help with papers and editing.

The writing styles for our majors couldn’t be more than different. MLA vs. APA, passive voice (ew) vs active voice, and short, to-the-point sentences vs. long, intricate ones are just a few of the differences. Either way, when it comes to all things grammar and word-choice, I’m their go-to gal.

3. I go to them for help with all things science and math.

I haven’t taken a math or science course since, like, fifth grade. Okay, that’s a lie, but the last time I took a math class was freshman year of college and it was statistics (if that even counts) and my last science class was a 3D printing lab sophomore year. Needless to say, I have to rely on my roommates for help a lot of the time with anything non-arts related (and even if it doesn’t have to do with their specific majors, I just assume they know.) “What’s 20% off of 45?” “Am I dying from pneumonia or is it just a cold?” These are just a few examples of my never-ending questions swirling around the house at any one given time.

4. They take tests whereas I create lesson plans.

Being an English major goes hand-in-hand with my minor in secondary education, so you can oftentimes find me crouched over a five page lesson plan for a sixth grade class on imagery and voice. The word study enters my vocabulary about just as much as lesson plan does for my roommates — which is close to never.

5. How we think is totally different.

Having read so many books throughout my college experience, my brain has become wired to think more in terms of what I read. As I was driving downtown with my roommate the other day, we saw a woman outside of a house holding a child in her arms and dancing back and forth. I mentioned that the scene felt like one straight out of a book, to which my roommate giggled and told me, “you read too many books.” Of course, she was only kidding, but it had some truth to it. She, on the other hand, thinks more in terms of science and practicality: the amount of germs and bacteria floating around, what viruses cause this and that, and so on and so forth — in other words, things I would never think about.

Despite these differences, the most important thing that matters is that we all love our majors and are excited about where our careers will take us. It also helps to have people around you that balance you out and help you in the areas you struggle in.