Current Students--Advice for Success
You’re only in college once. Make use of what you have available. Check out all the opportunities to do internships, to study abroad, to learn through classes, to experience through clubs and student affairs activities, and to get new skills through avenues like the Digital Learning Studio or the Writing Center.
Your advisor will be your guide through the curriculum and through the opportunities that abound on this campus. You’ll be assigned an advisor when you enter the English program, but if you find someone in English that you prefer, you can always change advisors.
Think about how the courses you choose make sense for what you want to do as a career, but also explore avenues where you have some interest. Want to be a science writer but also have a passion for photography? Well, take that photography course! You never know how it might benefit you down the road. Have a passion for Ireland? Study abroad. Taking some academic risks can lead to unexpected career opportunities as well as a sense of a life well lived.
University is not just a route to a job—it’s a thoughtful basis for life. Participate in the intellectual community both inside and outside of class. Do the reading and think about it. Explore your assignments with curiosity and passion. In class discussion or online discussion boards, practice arguing your points. During lectures, ask questions. Think about how the skills you employ (research, pattern recognition, analysis, challenging reading, argument, creative writing, etc.) prepare you not only for a career, but also for life-long learning and an ongoing creative life.
English majors' unique abilities, including their marvelous writing skills, provide them with strengths in applying for grants, scholarships, fellowships, and jobs. The Dean and the Chair of English will forward applications for these opportunities and you should apply. Think about publishing in one of our many publications or editing one (or even creating a new one!). Take the time to participate in events as speakers, organizers, writers or panelists/performers. These experiences build character and your resumé.
You have a lot of opportunities, but you also need sleep. Try to group your classes together. Be realistic about how much you can work and still do well in your classes. Plan ahead for opportunities like conferences, internships, student teaching, or special club trips. Start assignments early. Don’t undercut your health by leaving all your papers or projects until the end of the semester. Reach out to Lyle for tutoring or time management help if you find that you are falling behind. Talk to your professors and/or your advisor if you need some advice on how to balance your workloads. And remember, your family and friends need some time too!
For More Thought
- What Does Literature Do?
- The Ideal English Major
- Judith Butler's Address on the Importance of the Humanities
- Cultural Icons' Favorite Books
- Why English Majors are the New Hot Hires
- Why I Hire English Majors
- 100 good careers for English Majors
- Humanities Indicators (Employment Satisfaction and other Statistics)
- It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success
- Help Us Improve
- Connect With Us!