How many people have told you that you feel like coming home? I’m sure you’ve been somebody’s shelter, somebody’s summertime, somebody’s everything before you were anything to me.

You don’t remind me of home. You don’t remind me of honeysuckles or fried green tomatoes or twisted ankles. You don’t remind me of running back towards anything.

You are not safe walls to hide behind. You are everything on the other side.

Anonymous: I'm starting college in a few weeks as an English major. I'm excited but nervous. Do you have any advice for new English majors?


Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. (Or caffeinated tea!)

Be prepared to read and write a lot in a short amount of time. It’s all relative, depending on how many English classes you’re taking at one time, but it can sometimes be hard to balance reading multiple works at once, while also writing about multiple works at the same time. Procrastination is tempting and, at times, inescapable, but just be careful because trying to read 200 pages of, say, Dostoevsky at midnight isn’t always how you want to spend your time. 

Be prepared to not have as much time to read for pleasure. Hopefully, the stuff you’ll be reading for class will be pleasurable, but there’s always the issue of choice. It feels nice to choose what you want to read instead of being given a list. If you’re taking multiple English classes at once, it’ll most likely be difficult to read for fun on your own time. But, if it’s a big priority for you (which it sometimes is for me), you can make time for it. I say just see how it goes and see how you feel once the semester starts. Remember that it won’t always be like this, and during breaks and summer, you’ll have time for read on your own terms again. 

Get to know your professors? This definitely isn’t just an English major thing, but I highly recommend trying to connect with at least one of your professors (or all!) in office hours. Set up a meeting to discuss an upcoming paper or a certain part of a book you’re reading that you either didn’t quite grasp or thought was incredibly fascinating and want to talk about further. Making connections is so important in college, and I’ve found that the bonds I’ve cultivated with my teachers are my favorite aspect of college thus far. 

I’m glad you’re excited but nervous. That’s how I was (and I still feel that way every time fall semester comes around). Majoring in English is a lot of work, but it’s also heaps of fun. And the English major community on Tumblr just adds to the fun :). Best of luck to you! 

(Followers, feel free to add advice!)

  • Learn to skim! Very helpful! Will save time!
  • is like SparkNotes but funnier.
  • Up late reading? Do some squats! Keeps you awake and it’s good for your butt.
  • Beware of englishmajorhumor's first tip: if you drink too much coffee throughout the semester, its power over you will slowly diminish so that you'll be left with nothing during finals week.