Monday, March 21, 2016

Major Issues

I am a college student. Perhaps you know this, perhaps you don’t—I certainly don’t need telling. It works like this: I pay money to a university and they teach me stuff. Most of the time it works out okay.

Through my open window
Flickr Credit: JLS Photography - Alaska

But it is that time of the semester again. Registration. As I write/edit/schedule this, I am waiting for the clock to strike twelve. It’s one of those things where instead of my coach turning back into a pumpkin, I gain the power to sign up for fall semester classes.

Like, yeah… I could do it tomorrow morning and still get the classes I want. But I am awake right now, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

As it is, my class-taking is all in pursuit of a mystical goal called a degree. I do not know who invented degrees or why they need such big frames when they are so small, but it is important to get one. For specialized skills. Jobs. Life. And to get one of these esoteric pieces of paper, you must declare a major.

Deciding on your major is a decision that falls upon your shoulders when you hit, I dunno, Kindergarten, and plagues you with its weight and importance until last week when they made you do it or else NO REGISTRATION FOR YOU.

More or less. In truth, I’ve thought about my major for a good while. The first step was simply acknowledging that I was going to be a writer about it—in my senior year of high school I stopped torturing myself with indecision and said, “From now on, you’re a writer. Act like it. And if you don’t like it, you can stop, but until then, don’t.”

I haven’t. I still write, and that simple claim to this identity was a huge step. But it was a step with questions, like, “What do writers major in?”

According to important people, writers get degrees in writing or English except not really because they don’t improve your writing skills and aren’t competitive on account of every writer gets those, so major in something else you’re good at and provides you material to write about without impeding on your writing time but makes enough money for you to live until you can be a full-time poor writer. Good luck.

So I decided to put my decision off until later.

I entered my first semester at college not knowing what I wanted to do. I figured I’d major in a subject I could write about, like science or history. Why learn to write if you don’t have something to write about? Well… because I want science to possess the humor and enthusiasm of Youtube and lack the intimacy of O Chem. That idea died pretty fast.

My professors, on the other hand, sort of just looked at me and were like “Yeahhh, English major.” Which I was dubious of at first. There was still the problem of being a writer without an area of expertise.

A problem that only lasted until I realized that writing about books and the stuff in them is a totally viable option.*

We do it all the time at school. I love my classes that focus on fiction—or even include fiction at all. I love reading about it, writing about it, talking about it, thinking about it, and all the other abouts of it. And though there’s more to English majors than just fiction, I declared that one anyway. For reading. For writing. For awesome. I have no regrets.

Admittedly it has only been like a week of no regrets… but I plan to have fun yet.

My only problem now is that I don’t know what I’m going to minor in. I have gotten suggestions but I don’t like them. Right now, my top choice is supervillainy—but get ready for your heart to break, because that one isn’t offered at my school. Alas.

Still! I’m excited about the English major stuff. I’m very close to registration. And I’m glad that this looks like a field where I can grow and be satisfied as a writer, too.

...

BOOM. I’m registered. That wasn’t so bad.


What advice have you heard about picking majors, for writers (or other fields)? (What classes do you think you would take in a supervillainy degree? Cuz really.)


*I know, I know, book bloggers had this figured out ages ago!

18 comments :

  1. Congrats, Heather! Decisions are hardddd. Right now I have to take a course about how to apply to college (I'm in the second semester of my junior year btw) And it's so annoying. But I want to double major in anthropology and journalism/creative writing/english lit. (because the advice i've heard is do what you're interested in) but I have like two years so it's no big deal *hyperventilates*
    Supervillainy(as long as you're a nice villain) involves: Debating (so that you can deliver convincing speeches about why you're right), architecture 101 (lair's don't design themselves), Sentence construction (really mean villains pick apart heroes grammar), fashion design 101( awesome costumes don't design themselves), electrophysics( Is that even a subject? cause you need to make a weapon. Though with the way things are going, perhaps environmental science would be a better choice)

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    1. Eghhh. That sounds kind of yucky. That sounds like two very interesting ideas, so I'm very curious to see how that works out for you. :) Do not sweat it! They make college about more sweating than there really needs to be.

      Nice villain? I'll put that one down for the books. I do like debate and sentence construction as two important things... I mean I totally get the rest as a supervillain but seriously I would rather just hire a really great design person or two to make sure I always look my best. But seriously, Shanti, these are such good suggestions. XD

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  2. I totally understand what you went through... Decesions are really so hard! But I'm glad you fianlly made yours. I'm a student of English Literature myself and I can understand what your situation was like. All the very best for the future!

    - Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

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    1. Yeah, they make it into a big deal. Nice to make your acquaintance, and the same to you as well. :)

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  3. I make my living as a writer, and as it seems that fate has caused me to stumble upon this post, I feel compelled to share my two cents regarding your minor. There are a couple of paths I recommend. 1) Minor in a subject you enjoy so much that it can serve as a jumping off point for your writing projects. Planning a novel? Your minor can provide the background knowledge to develop the protagonist's career. Considering freelancing? Your minor proves expertise that will strengthen your pitches. Regardless of the income stream(s) you pursue, you will have plenty of content ideas, and be able to write with increased efficiency given your knowledge of the subject. 2) Business. Basic business skills will help you launch and manage your career. That said, I caution against this option if you have absolutely no interest or aptitude in business, as it will require too much of your time and energy and distract you from your primary purpose. If this is the case, you might still consider auditing a targeted class or two.

    Good luck!

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    1. Ah, welcome! I think those are both good ideas. I'm not totally convinced that I have the interest enough to make business a worthwhile minor for me, but I will do my best to minor in something interesting that I can use for writing and maybe use for a long time afterwards, too. Thank you for visiting, and sharing your advice with me!

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  4. I't great that you're happy with your choice :) I don't know what I want to major in, but I kind of want to double major, and I don't know how to, but hey, I have time, right *assures herself* I've loved my AP lit class this year, which only has 5 students and is just soooo much fun, but I also really love science, and these decisions are hard. But this sounds like a wonderful decision, and it's great you're happy with it and not overthinking anything. English sounds like a great writer major: now you can choose a super fun minor! (no advice for you, sadly)

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    1. Well... double major just means you take all the classes required for two majors. Assuming you're still the same age as your twin sister, you probably have like 3.5 years before they make you declare, so you're fine. XD And yes, I hope to have great fun moving forward!

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    2. "assuming you're the same age as your twin sister" *dies laughing* (I'm like five minutes older than Shar, so yeah)

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  5. Ah, glad you're working stuff out! *offers chocolate*

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    1. Yes, thank you! And don't mind if I do. *noms*

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  6. Yay, I'm glad you worked things out!! And that you're enjoying what you choose so far :)

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    1. Yes! I am enjoying it. Like I said, so far. :) Thanks for commenting, Opal.

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  7. Yay! Fellow English majors unite!

    Honestly, being an English major has empowered me so much as writer. What is better than constantly looking at different examples of what you want to do?

    Also, I should say that I'm a double major in Medieval Studies, which really doesn't require that much extra work. Doing two majors really gives me the best of both worlds.

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    1. That's so cool! I'm glad it is working for you. :)

      That's good, too. I don't know if I want to double major yet or anything, but I guess I'll see what happens.

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  8. Sorry this is late, but congratz on choosing a major! Also, pity about that lack of supervillainy classes. Maybe you can find an online course.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. Oh, thank you, thank you. I'd like to think that, anyway. There must be some hope for evil in this world!

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