I Didn't Choose the English Major, the English Major Chose Me

By Vanessa Krascsenics


Now I could sit here and write about how I chose to be an English major because I had a profound love for literature and how I wanted to study something that was a true passion of mine. If I told you that, it would be a lie. Honestly, 5 years ago if you had asked me where I would see myself in 5 years, I never would have answered where I am today. Back then my plan was to get a job without having to study any longer but make enough money to live comfortably. My one goal was to never go back to school after graduating high school. Considering I will be in school for the rest of my life, things have changed a bit for me since then. One event led to another, and here I am today studying to become an English teacher and actually enjoying it. I'm going to take a journey back in time to tell you guys how I got here.

Around this time five years ago, everyone was applying to CEGEP, which is the school you attend after high school here in Quebec, but there I was sitting around swearing I would never step foot in another classroom. The application deadline kept getting closer, and the closer it was the more scared I was. I kept debating whether I was making the right choice or not and since I didn't have a job lined up, my plan was not working out so well. I started looking through some programs to see what it was all about and nothing seemed to stand out in particular, so I continued worrying about my choice without doing anything about it. One day in my English class I talked to my teacher, Mr. Giroux, he taught English and Film, the only two subjects I enjoyed, and he asked me “What is the most memorable part of your time here?” Without hesitation I answered that it was his course. These were the only classes I was excited to go to, probably because I thought myself to be really good at making films. Without thinking much about the question, we finished off the conversation and went on with our day. The day before the application deadline I decided that since I was going to miss Mr. Giroux's film class, I would apply to a film program in hopes of making more films because I enjoyed it (and needed to feed my ego). I got accepted into the program about a month later.

Two years passed and to my own surprise, I was still in school. I had sworn to myself at the beginning of this program that this would be the last one. Throughout my time in the Film Studies program, I had made a couple more films and had learnt a lot more about cinema. The most surprising thing to me was that I actually enjoyed studying it. I had met a lot of interesting people, whether it be students or teachers. During the first year I stayed in touch with Mr. Giroux, but by the second year I had become too busy and distracted with my work to continue contacting him. Although I didn't speak to him I knew he was proud that I was pursuing my studies which made me proud as well. By the end of my program I began to wonder about going to University. I had some rough times during these two years which led my grades to drop quite a bit but I was still considering applying to University. Coming from Montreal, my two options were to go to McGill or Concordia but unfortunately I did not have the right GPA to get in, so I stopped looking and decided to do an extra semester in CEGEP. During this semester I became close to many of my teachers and was even more inspired by them. The closer I got to my teachers, the more I wanted to be like them. I don't mean that I wanted their personality, nor did I want to look like them, but I wanted to inspire my own students. I started to think about becoming a teacher myself but quickly dropped that idea when I remembered my grades were not so good.

A month before my graduation from CEGEP, the thought of not being in school anymore scared me quite a bit. I had to start living in the real world and I didn't even know what I wanted to do. For all I knew I was going to end up working at Target for the rest of my life. The closer I was to graduating, the more thought I put into teaching. Even though I didn't have the grades for the education program, my grades were just enough for a variety of other programs. In my mind it was clear that I was going to apply to be an English major because that is the program that suited me best. Not because I had a great passion for literature, but because it is where I could express myself the most. I loved to write, I still do. English also meant I could continue studying cinema which was an appealing factor to me and by that point I knew I still had a lot to learn. I figured I would take my chance and apply for Education as my first choice, and English as my second. The first letter I got back from Bishops was a rejection letter for the Education program, needless to say I was extremely disappointed and was hoping to get accepted into the English program more than ever. I got accepted two weeks later.

A year later, I got my grades up and was able to transfer to a double major. Although the English major was not my first choice, I could not be happier with how things turned out. I got to write more and I got to learn more, not only about literature and film, but also about myself. What brought me to the English program is knowing that what I learn I will be able to pass on to my future students, which includes my old films, which I thought were so great. If it weren't for Mr. Giroux, I would not have cared for English and Film as much as I do now and I hope to be the teacher that Mr. Giroux and others were to me. Again, if you had asked me five years ago about where I would be now, I never would have guessed that I would still be in school. I never really chose to be an English major, I just stumbled upon it and it is nowhere close to being a mistake.