Written by Juliana Bringer. Media by Mary Todd Christian
Deciding to become an English major can be difficult due to preconceptions and memories of high school English classes. However, college English is different. It is more focused on the things you want to learn than the items required in school growing up. I’ve been an English major for the majority of my college career, and I love it. The classes and the professors are great, and the information we learn helps us with our future endeavors.
As I mentioned above, the classes are great. Once you have declared English as your major, you are asked which emphasis you want to explore. Is it reading or writing? This will lead you to the advisor and professor that presides over that particular emphasis. My emphasis is reading. (If I’m not in class, sleeping, or hanging out with friends, I’m reading.) If you are a reader and choose this emphasis, there are many options of classes that you can choose from as well as your required courses. I have particularly liked Children’s Literature and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare. However, you may like others such as Global Literature or Cross-Cultural Literature. These are just a few of the options that students with a readers emphasis can choose.
If you are a student with a writing emphasis, there are even more options. Such as the Creative Writings classes as well as the Newspaper Production class. In most cases, even if you have a specific emphasis, you will still take courses from both. Classes from either emphasis can help each student no matter what emphasis they take. We need writers in order to have stories to read as well as have readers to critique and consume a written story.
With each class, you get a great professor: ones that not only care about your grades but also care about you as a person. Depending on your emphasis and learning style, there is a teacher that teaches those ways. One of my favorite professors is Dr. Lesley Sieger-Walls. When I decided reading was my emphasis, she became my advisor and then my teacher. Being comfortable with your advisor and professors is important, and I am most comfortable with her. Her teaching style matches my learning style and I respond well in her classes. She also helped me greatly last semester when I was ill, both academically and personally. I encourage everyone to take at least one class with her, even if you are not an English major. If your specialty is writing, you will have a lot of classes with Dr. Alexandria LaFaye. She has quite a different style of teaching than Dr. Sieger-Walls. If you enjoy a less structured class, she is the professor for you. She has many quirks that make for an interesting class period, such as changing her accent in the middle of class, sometimes in the middle of a sentence. There are a few more English professors that are also great, but I think you should become an English major to find out more.
Becoming an English major was a great decision for myself, and I hope that I can persuade you to become one or at least look into it. If you enjoy writing or reading, this could be the best for you. Join us for the best classes and the best professors.