Although graduation is what seems like eons away, it’s never too early to start thinking about what I’m going to do when I enter the “real world,” that scary place where I have to cook my own food, pay my own bills, and be even more responsible than I am here in college. In the real world, I can’t get away with bringing my laundry home for the weekend, or playing Words with Friends at work. I’ll have to find a real job, and that’s a rather scary thought. What’s an English major to do?
My mother told me, “you can be anything you want to be when you grow up!”—or maybe she said, “just don’t be me when you grow up!” I’m not entirely sure. And luckily, someone else told me, “you can do basically anything with a degree in English!” Based on these assertions, it seems I'll have a plethora of opportunities available when I graduate. I’ll most likely become a child wrangler, er, educator, but I have some backup ideas just in case the kids hate me. Here are a few of my favorites:
Professional Kitten Herder: Kitties! They’re so cute and cuddly. Whether they haz cheezburger or they’re dressed up as Star Wars characters, they’re just so adorable and fluffy! I could happily spend my days herding them around and caring for them, all while maintaining the stereotype that all English majors will become old cat ladies (yes, even the males). The only issue I foresee is that I’m allergic to cats. That may be a slight problem. I may just end up as an old cat lady sans the felines. Forever alone…
Internationally Known Swedish Pop Star: I've always wanted to travel the world, and as a highly successful Swedish popstar, I can do just that. I can’t carry a tune to save my life, but that’s ok; that’s what autotune is for! If Rebecca Black can become a pop star, so can I. I don’t even have to know Swedish. I’ll just sing about fish. All I need to do is change my name to Brigitta Berta $penda Hansa Grana Flibberty Flobben Fredrick. I think it’s rather catchy. Just add some funky beats, drop in some dubstep, mix well with repetitive lyrics, and a hit is born! Or should I say Björn…
Dishwasher: Another stereotypical job for English majors is barista. I can’t handle being a barista. It’s far too complicated, what with all the coded orders and picky people. You want a low-fat, tall, skinny, caramel macchiato with an extra shot, unicorn hairs, and a dash of rainbows? How about just plain coffee? That’s all I can handle.
I once was told a joke that went, “What did the English major say to the Engineering major? Answer: May I take your order?” In addition to the fact that this joke was rather disheartening and rude, I don’t want to be a waitress.
Dishwashing is the safest bet for me. All I need is soap + water + towel + minimum wage, and I’ve got a winning combination. I may barely survive, but I’ll have enough money to buy more books, which is what really matters.
Housewife: Eventually, someone will rescue me from dishwashing in a dingy back room, and we’ll run away, get married, and live semi-happily ever after. (It’s important to be realistic.) I’ll once again become a dishwasher, but this time in my own kitchen. I’ll wear fancy aprons and sit around watching Oprah all day. I’ll sip wine, eat boxes and boxes of chocolates, and vacuum, all at the same time. That’s what multitasking is all about. I’ll be the next June Cleaver, as I’m a believer and an achiever when I dream big.
It’s good to know my degree is going toward something useful.
Don't worry, Courtney—your Sparkitors majored in English, and we're totally rich, if by "rich," you mean "able to buy string cheese."
Related post: The Daily Trials of an English Major: 19 Hours in NYC