I always thought I would be a teacher. For career day in second grade, I dressed up in a denim jumper and glasses, the way my teacher dressed. When I did an independent study senior year of high school, I worked with a fourth grade class at an elementary school down the street. I was so sure that’s what I wanted to do with my life. Naturally, when I got to college, I thought that choosing a major would be a no-brainer.
But once I began taking college classes in education, I just didn’t feel like I belonged there. I could see myself becoming a teacher and loving spending time with the kids. I would have loved doing the arts and crafts and correcting tests. But I also imagined myself wishing I was doing something different, something that I was truly passionate about. So I decided not to settle for something that I wasn’t going to love just because I had already started it.
I knew I loved reading and writing more than anything. Not only did I enjoy it in my spare time, but I was excited to go to English class and disappointed when class ended.
So I knew what my dream was, but the only problem was that I didn’t know what kind of job prospects there were for English majors. Who would possibly hire me to read and discuss books? Who would care about the stories I wrote? And how much would they pay me?
I did some research and found out there are actually a lot of well-paying jobs you can get after graduating with an English degree, such as an advertising copywriter, news reporter, technical writer, social media manager, or corporate blogger. Skills that you learn as an English major are also applicable to lucrative careers in sales, data analysis, marketing, law, and even on Wall Street. The job market is competitive, but it would be worth working hard to get hired, because I would be doing what I loved. I would be fulfilling my dream!
Right after I changed my major, I joined my school paper and added a journalism concentration and a communications minor to make sure I had enough experience in the fields I would be going into. I also started a blog and looked into freelance writing for the summer.
The important thing to keep in mind when choosing a major is to do research, make sure there are available jobs that you would enjoy in your subject area, and then try as hard as you can to be good at what you do.
I have yet to see if I’ll get into a career and if I’ll love it, but so far, I’ve been in love with the newspaper and the writing jobs I’ve been doing this summer. I’m making less money than if I was working a nine-to-five job, but what I do feels like a victory because I tried so hard and am succeeding in doing what I love.
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