Yes, There Are English Majors at UC Irvine

Hello world! My name is Elizabeth Greenberg, and do you want to know something crazy? I’m an English major! Because yes, there are English majors at UC Irvine. I know that’s crazy to fathom, but we do exist. If you take a quick walk from the BioSci Lecture Hall towards the Student Center on Ring Road, on the left-hand side you’ll see this exotic and strange looking building called the Humanities Gateway. This is where wild English majors tend to gather and frolic.

*queue gasps and looks of shock and confusion*

So, because it’s not every day that you’ll get the opportunity to talk to one of us, I’d like to clear the air and respond to some common questions/misconceptions about my unique species. Here are just a small portion of the questions I receive on a daily basis:

 

Q: So…like, why would you choose English?

A: Huh, that’s a very thoughtful question. I think it’s probably because people like me enjoy reading and writing. Just as you might enjoy coding or learning why the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, I love studying the written word and discussing the intricacies of characters and plot lines. Lastly, I believe that writing is beneficial to master regardless of your future career field.

Q: But…like, why? STEM is the future.

A: STEM may be the future, but English is timeless. There will always be a need for writers and storytellers as long as humans live and breathe on this earth. Therefore, just because your preferred field is currently booming doesn’t mean that mine is going to die. Got that? Okay, good.

Q: What are you going to do with your degree? Become a teacher?

A: Not all English majors want to be teachers, myself included, and while it is a great option for a lot of English majors, there are so many other options out there. Although I once believed that my only options were to be an author, an editor, or a teacher, writers are vital in every career field. Who’s going to be the one to write the instruction manuals for your lab equipment? Or write screenplays? Or write the descriptions on the back of your favorite food products? Yeah, those are our jobs. We’ve got options, don’t worry, but thanks for your concern! You're so considerate...  

Q: Can you edit my paper for me?

A: Yes, if you ask nicely and give me a proper amount of time to do so. No, if you just assume I will. 

Q: Ugh, I hate to read.

A: Not really a question, but thanks for that comment.

Q: What’s that word that means _______? I can’t think of it.

A: Last time I checked I’m not a walking dictionary. Although that’s a great idea for Halloween next year, thanks!

Q: What is your favorite book/author?

A: Okay, I actually love this question, but please don’t ask if you’re not willing to listen to me talk about it for the next two hours. I will tell you all about its best and worst characters, main and sub plot lines, and significant quotes. Did I mention I can also tell you all about the author’s upbringing and hobbies? Because yes, if they’re my favorite author, it’s my duty to know.

Q: Do you just read Shakespeare all the time?

A: Actually, I prefer Jane Austen, but I’m biased because I was named after Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. However, while we do have to read a lot of Shakespeare, there are so many other amazing authors out there that we get to read.

Q: What misspelling or grammar mistake pisses you off the most?

A: It’s a classic: your versus you’re. If you screw this up, I’m not going to be your friend.

Q: Do you hate being bombarded with questions in order to validate your major to others?

A: Yes, yes I do.

 

So please, refer to this before interrogating the next English major you meet. Although let’s be real, there are probably only like five of us, so I doubt you’ll run into one. In conclusion, we don’t interrogate you on why you aren’t an English major, so don’t judge me for being one. Please and thank you.