28 Signs You Were An English Major In College


1. You constantly correct your manager’s grammatical errors in office emails—and sometimes not only in your head.

2. Every time you read a news article, you keep a running tally of the edits you’d make to “make it better.”

3. You think everything you write on your own time is awful—but a small part of you believes that you’re still a better writer than the rest of the world.

4. People still ask you if you’re going to law school even though you finished undergrad three years ago.

5. When you tell people you were an English major, their first question is “Why?”

6. Or, “Oh, so you’re a teacher?”

7. Or, “What are you going to do with that?”

8. Older relatives think you college experience was composed of weekly book reports, much like their third grade Language Arts class.

9. You really, really hope you never have to meet anyone who actively considers Fifty Shades of Grey to be “the best book ever.”

10. Psh, Econ homework. Try a Foucauldian discourse analysis instead.

11. A valve in your heart bursts with fear every time anyone asks you to program a spreadsheet with functions.

12. You spend a lot of time explaining to your friends that you spent once a whole class period studying the gender politics of a Tide commercial.

13. You fondly reminisce to your finals, because while you tore your hair out over 15 page papers at the time, they still were the best 15 page papers anyone’s ever written.

14. Your friends who were Business or Econ majors don’t quite understand what it is that you do for a living—and probably never will.

15. You understand why bell hooks doesn’t capitalize the letters in her name.

16. To you, John Keats was Fall Out Boy before Fall Out Boy was Fall Out Boy.

17. You take it as common knowledge that Melville was abusive, Shakespeare might not have been real, and Byron was an alcoholic.

18. Compared to your final projects in college, every work assignment you have now seems restrictive and narrow.

19. You’re pretty sure you know a little bit about everything—but not a great deal about anything.

20. You could recite your favorite poem upon request (even if the request is yours and yours alone.)

21. While others complain about how little they learned in school, you’re pretty sure your whole worldview changed thanks to your education.

22. You have a favorite literary movement.

23. You have a very distinct point of view regarding the Oxford Comma debate.

24. Whenever you ride the Metro, you think of Ezra Pound.

25. You completely understand why Voltaire drank 30 cups of coffee a day.

26. Your texts are always grammatically correct and never void of punctuation. You have been known to blow off plans because one of your friends sent you textspeak.

27. You have a very deep love-hate relationship with the listicle.

28. You know that making sweeping generalizations about any one group of people is largely a waste of time, and yet here we are, folks. Here we are.