Amelia Poole graduated in 2018 with a degree in English. As reflected in this piece, which was written after her sophomore year of college, she loved studying creative writing on campus and has always been interested in the power of written language. Amelia now lives in Boston and works with international students pursuing high school programs in the U.S.
whatever it is, I will be well prepared. My hu- manities education in general has made all the difference in how I view the world and how I plan to successfully make my way into It. As has already been hinted at, it unfortunately seems as though employment is the greatest factor in determining whether an education in the humanities is worthwhile. However, I have a difficult time understanding this concern. There will never be an occupation in which un- derstanding and communicating with people is not important, and I feel that no courses have prepared me for a lifetime of human interac- tion better than the humanities courses I have taken. Further, I believe that employers can tell the difference in candidates who display quali - ties of studying the humanities versus those who have not. Far too often, I hear adults express frustration with younger candidates’ inability to write well. Literature classes are immensely helpful in this regard, because it is hard for one to truly excel in writing without reading great writing first.
I have heard it once. I have heard it a million times over: “You’re an English major? Are you going to be an English teacher?” I hear it over dinners and over coffee dates and during awkward grocery store run-ins with people I haven’t seen in for- ever. I am an English major, but I am not going to be a teacher. I am going to do anything and eve- rything that excites me in life after college, and I am (hopefully) going to be a terrific writer while doing it. I am certainly not aiming to disparage the incred- ibly valuable work that teachers do—without the work of those interested in education, I would be absolutely nowhere. Rather, I want to challenge the far-too-commonly held notion that there is acertain predetermined career path for any col- lege major, and I feel as if the humanities fall victim to this way of thinking especially often. I am frequently discouraged, as the value of my humanities education so regularly falls subject to doubt, by how few times I have heard anyone ask a biology major, “What are you going to do with that?” I do not know what exactly what I want to do with my major at this point, but I do know that
Why I Study the Humanities— &Why Finding a Job Doesn’t Scare Me
Amelia L. Poole
Arts & Humanities
Don’t Leave College Without Them
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