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Introduction to the English Department

By Sara Stamatiades

          Why should you join the Clemson English Department? According to current students, the professors are “brilliant,” “compassionate,” “unique,” and help to create a “familial atmosphere.” But before you think about Clemson University as an option, first consider why you want to be an English major. For many, including myself, the choice revolves around a love of words, language, literature, and writing. Being an English major doesn’t mean reading Spark Notes or writing 5-paragraph essays, and it certainly doesn’t mean “I’m here because I hate math.” If this frightens you, perhaps English isn’t the right choice; but if you enjoy challenging your opinions, discussing a wide range of literary texts, and gaining knowledge applicable beyond a specific vocation, keep reading.

            If you haven’t heard much about the Clemson English program, do not be discouraged. First of all, the department is a relatively small one. Students find this aspect to be an advantage because of the intimate class sizes of about fifteen to twenty-five people. From semester to semester you will see familiar faces, giving you the ability to not only form relationships with your peers, but also with your professors. When asked who their favorite professors are, students gave a variety of answers: Will Stockton, Keith Morris, Lee Morrissey, Cameron Bushnell, and David Coombs, just to name a few. Clearly with such a wide array of responses, the Clemson English Department houses a strong and dynamic group of passionate professors.

            As mentioned before, life as an English major is a challenging one. You will spend hours reading every day and learn new ways to approach writing an essay. In addition, prepare yourself for questions like, “What are you going to do with an English major?” or “Oh, so do you want to be a teacher?” Although not everyone may understand why reading matters, if you join the Clemson English Department you will gain immense reinforcement in your choice. Also just so you know, there are plenty of job options as an English major. For example, current students plan to pursue law school, physician’s assistant school, and careers in teaching, public relations, and publishing/editing. You will have options; don’t let someone tell you otherwise.

            If anything said above sounds appealing to you, I encourage you to further consider Clemson University. My expectations as an English student have been completely surpassed, and I truly cannot imagine a better experience!