For The English Student
English just isn’t enough. English literature and language studies are excellent interesst and degrees to have. Unfortunately, these degrees are rather one-dimensional in scope. They often needs to be propped up. This is why I suggest taking an interest in a minor that compliments your degree.
That doesn’t necessarily mean minor in creative writing. Here’s why: creative writing is also a wonderful component to the English degree but it does not in most instances further enrich what you will be discussing in your English classes. The objective of creative writing is to teach you how to write in genres you wouldn’t normally be able to explore in an ordinary English degree. Namely the writing of fiction and poetry rather than the reading of it.
I suggest history and psychology, though dry and tedious, as compliments to the English degree.
History courses offer a perspective into the time periods you will be studying as an English student and further your understanding of the literature written in these contexts.
Psychology does this as well. It may not seem so at first glance, but psychology focuses on large portions of historical time periods and how people have functioned in them. Erich Fromm is a psychologist that wrote Escape From Freedom which is largely concerning the development of freedom in society from the Middle Ages until now. Though it is categorized as a social psychology book in the library, it offers just as much input into the time periods I have studied in my degree as any book I may find amongst strictly literary subjects. Psychology is also deeply engrained in the philosophy and theory of English studies.
English language students will want to consider expanding their degrees with minors or double majors in foreign language or linguistics. Understanding how your own language operates doesn’t seem nearly as rewarding without an overall context for it. That context is other languages apart from your own.
A degree is what you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be a begrudging set of obstacles to a fancy piece of paper. Choosing majors and minors that compliment each other and your interests will serve to make your experience more fruitful and your resume more diverse.