Pondering Post-Grad: The Struggles of an English Major
Ring By Spring
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 17:09
This past weekend, I rang in senior year with the annual event that marks the maturity and sophistication that is so characteristic of this time: I went to Club Lau* for the first time and danced with a freshman boy. And by that I mean I did something I call dancing while a freshman boy slowly approached, got nervous and turned away. Yeah. I know, lil’ fella, I’m a lot of woman.
That actually has nothing to do with what I want to talk about; I just feel like bragging.
With my second-to-last semester finally in full swing, I’ve begun to think about the decisions I’ve made over the last three years, namely, my major. I am an English major. Yes, I know. It’s incredibly specific and with a clear, determined direction. I’ve spent the past three years taking literature after literature course, studying the complex writings of Oscar Wilde and Joseph Conrad and the cultural significance of Victorian sexuality. And what industry DOESN’T need someone experienced in all those fields?! I’m your number one pick, Goldman Sachs! Never mind that I haven’t taken a math class in four years.
I don’t regret for a minute deciding to be an English major. I’ve been intellectually stimulated by mostly all the courses I’ve taken (except for you, Chaucer. You’re not funny. I don’t know who ever decided you were) and have never had a bad English professor … ever. A big two thumbs up for the Georgetown English department from Meagan Kelly. But despite all this, my academic choices worry me now that all those “post-graduation” questions have started rolling in.
I’m going to give you two different dialogues, one being that of the average Georgetown student and one being mine, and perhaps you’ll see where my worries come from.
Dialogue number one:
Old person: So what are you studying now?
Jane Hoya: I’m an international relations major with a concentration in Middle Eastern affairs and a certificate in international business and micromanagement in Saudi Arabia.
OP: Oh, how interesting! How did you get interested in the Middle East
JH: I spent six months in a refugee camp in the West Bank when I was 16 and was so touched by the experience that I just knew then and there I wanted to be an ambassador.
OP: Oh, how wonderful! So what will you be doing after graduation?
JH: I have a job lined up at a nonprofit, policy-making advocacy group that specializes in labor rights in Iran.
OP: Oh, what a bright young lady!
(I made up most of the words in that scenario. Micromanagement’s a thing, right?)
Dialogue number two:
That same old person: So what are you studying now?
Me: I’m an English major ...
The now-judgmental old person: Oh ... nice. Do you want to be a teacher?
Old Lady Judgey McJudgerson: So, do you think you’ll go to grad school?
Old crank: Okay, well … good for you. Good luck.
Me: Thanks. You gonna eat that shrimp?
You see the difference there? There was shrimp in the second scenario and none in the first. HA! Suck it, Jane Hoya!
This school is chock full of career-oriented brainiacs with very specific paths for the future. Now before you get your accordion folders in a jumble, nerds, you should know I am not mocking or judging your overwhelming intelligence and specified life ideas. I am merely deeply, truly and passionately jealous. This whole “wanting to know what you’re going to do with your life” business is stressing me out. I have no particular idea for my future. All I know is being a waitress for the rest of my life would give me shin splints.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is all you brainy Georgetown kids are harshing my mellow. Knock it off.
*For my non-Georgetown readership: Club Lau is the annual party held at our library (Lauinger Library). A room on the ground floor is cleared out for a DJ and bumpin’ ’n’ grindin’ like you wouldn’t believe.
Meagan Kelly is a senior in the College. RING BY SPRING appears every other Friday in the guide.