The best answer is to enjoy it-and also, along the way, to think ahead to the many ways that it will serve you well if you approach it creatively.
To expect English to prepare you directly for a career is not, as some suppose, too much to ask.
Colleges and universities, public and private schools, legal firms and court systems, media and publishing enterprises, technical writing and advertising firms, as well as commercial businesses, healthcare providers, and foundations--all the human enterprises in which communication and imagination are at a premium need literate professionals to carry on their work.
A conscious effort is required, though, to connect your English major with your future vocation. Here are some of the steps to consider:
Combine majors and minors: Students in English often pursue a second major or a minor in another department as a way to combine their love of literature and language with preparation for a career.
Likewise, many pre-professional students choose English as part of a double major in order to develop their skills in such areas as analytical thinking, effective writing, and practice in reading people and imagining situations that don't yet exist, but one day might.
In particular, the value of an English degree is widely recognized in Pre-law and Pre-medical programs, where our majors often rank among the most successful applicants for advanced study.
Consider interdisciplinary certificates: Academic programs that allow students to take courses in more than one department are increasingly important as ways to prepare for employment. The English faculty at SLU has been unusually innovative in creating and supporting such programs.
Department of English Internships INTN 480-02 (Special Registration Required by Professor Benoit, Director)
Each semester the Department is able to sponsor internships for junior and senior English majors who desire to complement their formal studies with related practical experience on a volunteer basis but for 1-3 credits. Possibilities can include writing and editing for journals and magazines in the area (through the St. Louis Poetry Center and the St. Louis Writers Guild, for example), other various positions as writing consultants or for film and media work and production, and assisting directors in creative projects at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Positions for a semester or two are sometimes available as well for legal work in attorneys' offices.
An Internship involves 1-3 credits per semester (to a total of 6) with the grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (S/U) submitted after evaluation from the supervisor is received by Professor Benoit in the last week of the semester. Approximately 10 hours interning a week would be expected during the semester for the internship. An interview is requisite; transportation is usually necessary. A student's schedule, including credits for an internship, should not exceed 18 credit hours.
If you are interested please e-mail Professor Raymond Benoit (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine what might be available for your interest at this time-or if you have already found a position that might be authorized for such credit.
Saint Louis University offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees at its campus in Madrid, where hundreds of students from the United States and around the world study each year.
With English as its primary (but not its only) classroom language, SLU-Madrid is the ideal place to get a feel for the international world, acquaint yourself with the national culture of Spain, and continue to participate in the shared vision of Jesuit education.
Spending a semester or a full year abroad, you will be able to take courses in the core as well as in a variety of concentrations, including English, Film Studies, Spanish, Communication, and International Studies.
Studying in Madrid is an especially attractive option for SLU English majors.
The University offers more than a dozen other programs of study abroad. For further information please visit SLU's Study Abroad webpage.