How I Ended up as an English Major: Finding My Passion and a Job I Loved

I remember the days during my junior and senior years of high school in Mrs. Oncu’s class, discussing novels and scrambling to finish timed writings. I frequently thought to myself, “When will I ever use this?” I always had a knack for math and writing, which is an unusual combination for most people. History and science were my greatest struggles in both high school and college, but I always seemed to excel at math and English.

The process of applying to colleges was especially grueling for me because I was one of the ones who had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. And, of course, every college application asks you what your life plan is and what you want to do. Those are extremely stressful questions for someone who has no clue! The countless hours and tears I shed over these questions just about did me in. All three of my siblings always had a clear sense of direction in regards to what they wanted to do, but I was like a lost sheep wandering aimlessly through life.

I spent the first two years of college as an “Exploratory” major, which is just a fancy way of saying, “Help, I don’t know what to do with my life and can’t make a decision.” I finally settled on Family & Child Sciences when my advisor not-so-subtly told me I wasn’t allowed to be Exploratory anymore.

After realizing I was definitely not cut out for that major, more tears, and even more anxiety, I felt completely helpless. I was having lunch with one of my friends one day, and she was just raving about how much she loved her major. She was an Editing, Writing, & Media major and kept talking about how broad it was and how there is so much wiggle room in there for each person to find his or her specific niche. Hearing her talk about it sparked my interest, so I went and talked to my advisor and made the switch to the English Department. I started taking all of these writing and communication classes and I specifically remember thinking to myself, “Wow, this is what it feels like to do something you love.” It wasn’t just that I was good at it, but I actually enjoyed doing it and learning about the writing world.

Never in a million years did I expect to end up a writer. Sure, I was good at writing in high school, but I just assumed I was naturally pretty smart and it just came easy to me. But when I started looking forward to waking up and going to class instead of dreading it, I finally realized that this is exactly what I was meant to do.

During my senior year at Florida State University, I had the opportunity to write for an online magazine, and I had the freedom to write about whatever I wanted. People would comment on every article saying how much they loved it or how funny it was, and it really dawned on me that it was something I was truly talented at.

I never knew work could be so much fun until I was doing something I loved. It took some trial and error early on in my college years, but I finally ended up exactly where I was meant to be — in a field that excites me and inspires me to grow and be creative. I was never a very motivated person until I began doing the thing I love: writing.

So if you’re in high school, or even college, and wondering what the point is, you might find yourself surprised one day. Open yourself up to the possibilities that what you end up doing might not be what you first expected.