When most people think of the English department they think of reading, writing and how much they hated their English classes in high school. I am here to share why the English department is not only tons of fun, but also teaches skills that will benefit every other major across campus.
Not only are the English classes wildly interesting, but the professors are wonderful as well. Trust me, I went on a trip with the English department last spring and spent 30 hours round trip in a van with three professors, and I have never laughed so hard in my life. They’re always open to chat, and each one is passionate about literature, communication, creative and academic writing and just the English language in general. Likewise, English classes offer a really great opportunity for getting to know fellow classmates. Classes are typically full of discussions, workshops and learning about the art of storytelling, which often leads to plenty of lighthearted banter and recurring jokes.
In addition to the awesome professors, there have been other amazing opportunities I’ve experienced through the English department. For instance, the trip we went on last spring was to Holland, Mich., to the Festival of Faith and Writing. It was the most wonderful thing I have ever been to, and the book-nerd in me was thriving.
For two days, we had the chance to see panels, hear lectures and attend workshops on different genres of literature. Getting to hear from all the different authors who were there was definitely interesting, but it was fun to spend time with my fellow English majors and professors as well. We also went to a really good Mexican restaurant for dinner one night, so if that doesn’t convince you to become an English major, then I don’t know what will. But in all seriousness, it was one of my favorite experiences, and while I learned a lot about reading and writing with a Christian lens. I also laughed more that weekend than any other weekend all year because English people are just that fun to be around.
There are actual statistics that show how beneficial English skills are for careers in all disciplines. In a recent survey, managers across the country in all job areas – ranging from engineering, healthcare, finance, marketing and research and many more – were asked what skills they look for most in the people they hire. The top three answers given were communication skills, organizational skills and writing. These are all skills learned through English courses. The same managers were then asked what skills their employees lacked the most, and among the top answers were writing, communication skills, presentation skills and organizational skills. And as much as people might hate this, writing was the number one skill employees were lacking. From these stats, taking even one extra English class could benefit your career long-term.
Now, I know that picking up an English major is a lot to add to something else, and some will think I’m crazy for even suggesting this, but what about an English minor? The classes you take within the English department can help you gain those critical, transferable skills that are so necessary for any major. Specifically, the writing, communication, presentation and organizational skills are valuable in so many ways. Whether you’re a pre-med student, a business major, a religion major or you’re involved in any other discipline across campus, English classes can help gain these much sought-after skills that will be so advantageous in the career field after graduation.
I know after reading this, most of you will not change your major or add a double major. That’s completely understandable. But hopefully, you might consider adding one or the other or even taking a few English classes. I promise they’re not as scary as they seem!