So, You Want to Be an English Major

This week, in our ongoing “So You Want to Be a…” series, we were able to interview Heather Parrish who is about to complete her final semester as an undergrad in English.  For those who are considering a major in English, perhaps her thoughts will help you decide.


Interviewer: What made you want to major in English?

Heather Parrish: Initially it was because I enjoyed reading a lot as a kid, but it kind of changed because I switched majors a lot throughout my time in school.  In the end I realized that literature was going to be the foundation of what I wanted to learn in graduate school, so I went back to English.

Interviewer: Where are you doing your schooling?  What are the educational requirements for that particular major?

Heather Parrish: I am going to UVU.  UVU has three different emphasis areas, so you have to choose between creative writing, literature, english education, and writing studies.  Once you choose an emphasis you basically take several classes within that emphasis. I chose literature so I had to take a couple of specific classes on American Lit, British Lit, and European Lit, then the rest I was able to choose where I wanted to specialize, so I took a lot of American Lit classes.

Interviewer:  What has been your favorite aspect of your academic experience?

Heather Parrish: I really enjoyed establishing relationships with different professors has been really cool.  I also just really enjoy learning in general so, I love just about everything. It’s also awesome how literature specifically allows you to learn about other subjects such as history, culture, and social context.

Interviewer:  What has been the hardest part of your academic experience?

Heather Parrish: Picking a major to be honest.  I went through two years of my college experience trying to decide on a single major. It was also difficult trying to find the study habits and routine that worked for me.  There was a lot of trial and error in that.

Interviewer: What are you wanting to do career-wise with that degree?

Heather Parrish: If I go to graduate school I definitely want to be a professor.  If not, I really like the idea of working in a non-profit or other research field would be really cool.

Interviewer:  What are you most nervous about moving forward towards a career?

Heather Parrish: Probably ending up doing something I won’t find challenging enough.  I want to find something that will be interesting and engaging for me.

Interviewer: What are you most excited about as you move forward towards a career?

Heather Parrish: There’s two things.  One is that the field of like museums and research is very important in society changing and progressing.  I would love to be a part of that. The second is that I think it would be so cool to get access to some well-stocked archives so I can continue to learn throughout my life.

Interviewer: What is one piece of advice you would want to give someone who is trying to decide on a major?

Heather Parrish: Take your general education classes seriously because those classes can really give you a great opportunity to see what that major would be like.  Also, talk to people! Ask people in your desired career how they feel about it and what got them there. That will help give you a lot of direction.