20. Date Nights are Nerdy
While others are out partying, for English majors, date nights at a library or bookstore are fun (and sexy). Nothing says excitement like drinking lattes while discussing Orlando: A Biography with your love while getting turned on.
19. Speaking of Latte…
You are on a first-name basis with your local coffee shop’s barista, and she knows what you want as soon as you walk in the door. Something has to keep you going during those all-nighters and lectures!
18. You Can Handle Pressure Well
Nothing screams “intense!” more than reading five full novels and writing two 15-page essays all in one night. Better yet, do it and pass all your exams and earn A’s on the essays. Easy-peasy!
17. No One Understands Your Literary References
Did you read something hysterical in that Spenser piece? What about that one line from Dr. Faustus that cracks you up every time? If you discuss it with your non-English major friends, watch them as they back away slowly.
16. Stalking the Librarian is Considered Normal
Only she holds the key to that obscure structuralist theory book you desperately need for your term paper. If only it would arrive…
15. InterLibrary Loan Causes Needless Stress…
If your university or local library does not have that obscure book your professor says you absolutely need to complete your research project, relying on ILLiad is a must! But, if that book is located in Thailand and you need it ASAP, coronaries are a normal side effect.
14. …Only to be Told You Wouldn’t be Using That Book
You know, because your literature instructors enjoy watching you jump through hoops. It’s a sign of dedication.
13. The Same Book is Read in a Number of Classes
Okay, you get it: The main character wants to be called Ishmael, and Ahab is obsessed with leg-eating sperm whales. How many times do you have to read this? As many times as the curriculum calls for it in your American literature courses. You really will discover how much of a dick Moby is.
12. Sparknotes is the Devil!
In front of your professors and peers, you may admonish Sparknotes, but it’s secretly your best friend when you don’t have time to cram a whole novel into your cranium.
11. Reading is No Longer Fun
Remember when reading was an enjoyable event full of imagination and wonder? Not when you’re an English major! So many books, so little time. So. Much. Analysis!
10. Everything Must Have a Deeper Meaning!
No. No, it doesn’t, but you think it does. Books, movies, and TV shows are no longer safe from analysis, especially since these skills are pounded into your head for four years or more, if you go to graduate school.
9. Pseudo-Intellectuals Dominate Discussion
They use a ton of words while saying nothing. They are in a lot of classes, and they’re the ones that demand the most attention until you say something that challenges them, then you get more head-spinning doubletalk.
8. Some Instructors Hold Grudges
Your instructor has you read her favorite book or watch her favorite movie for a review paper. While you like the story, you think the characters could use more development and you say so. The instructor scribbles “unacceptable and inappropriate” across the paper when she reads about the characters after she praises the content initially. Then, you find the instructor will never treat you the same again.
*Based on a true story*
7. Your Favorite Instructor’s Office Becomes Your New Home
So what if your family barely gets to see you? You want to learn! You want to understand everything in the text! You want to absorb knowledge from your professor and make that knowledge your bitch! It’s part of the game, but…
6. …You Develop an Intellectual Crush on Your Instructor
Some may see it as a legitimate “I love you and want your babies!” crush, but you really know it’s his or her smarts you are head-over-heels in love with because you hope to someday be that awesome.
5. You Analyze a Bunch of Old Literature and Wonder Why
You discover a different interpretation for “Desiree’s Baby” and excitedly share your findings for your interpretation essay. You receive the graded essay only to see comments saying how wrong you are and the author really meant X. What’s the point of analyzing literature when someone already decides a previous interpretation is the one and only acceptable truth?
4. People in Other Majors Think You Play D&D All the Time
There may be a select few who do, but not everyone. When will this stereotype die?
3. Older Professors May Fall Asleep During Lectures
One minute, your instructor is telling you Native Son “is a clumsy novel”; the next, he’s nearly falling out of his seat snoring.
2. Sometimes Your Instructors Will Have an Existential Crisis
One day, your creative writing instructor will look up from his book, look at you and your classmates and tell you he never wanted to teach writing: He wanted to teach history. Then he will say he feels dread and wants to hop in his car and keep driving. You feel confused until you realize something:
1. One Day, That Crisis Will Hit You
You graduate all starry-eyed with your shiny new degree. You want to head into publishing, become a writer, or become an aspiring professor! Then you find out thousands of others are vying for those jobs, too. Then you question why you wanted an English degree anyway.