English literature is a subject that can change your life and make you a different person. This is what the graduates of this subject say. It changes your perspective of looking at world issues and makes you quite a well-read person. It is a vast subject that if you take seriously can make you a profound thinker with many other skills and capabilities. Talking about the job market, it is also growing and is not very disappointing in Pakistan. The graduates are hired at multiple positions by many firms. However, you need to have a certain temperament and skills in order to select a major in English literature.  

Don’t select it when you have nothing else to study

This is strange that a subject so vast is chosen when students think there is no other option left. Yes, it is a trend in Pakistan that many students would select English literature when they cannot get admission to other ‘first priority’ subjects. The same students are unable to cope with the study burden after the very first semester. There will be a lot to study and learn in this field, so select it only if you really have a taste for it.   

You have to be a good reader

You do not have to be a person who has read hundreds of books necessarily but at least, you should be a book lover and a good reader. You are going to have a lot of books to read for your presentations and assignments. So, keep it in mind before you select this subject as your major.

See if you can do relevant jobs

If you want to study English Literature, you should consider the job market before it. Would it be alright for you to work in the fields of journalism, PR, academics, entertainment, and creative writing? If yes, then it may be the right choice.

Be ready to study diverse subjects

You are not going to stick to a few subjects related to literature, it is a diverse field and you will have to study different subjects. Mostly, students are not ready to study subjects like philosophy, critical history, and film, etc. Along with that, you should have a taste of plays, poetry, and prose. 

See if you are interested in writing

You don’t have to be an outstanding writer. But having an interest in writing is a must. You will have to write extensive assignments and papers so you should be able to convey your ideas into words in a constructive way. You will learn to be a good writer but only when you have an interest in it. 

Be ready to do extensive reading

If you think you will be able to get a degree through minimum effort, English Literature is not your cup of tea. You have to be ready for extensive reading. And yes, you will have to read diverse kinds of books from philosophy and history to novels, plays, and poetry. If you cannot do that, look for some other better options.  

Evaluate your critical thinking skills

Are you a critical thinker? Or do you think you will be interested in improving your critical thinking skills? If yes, you are welcome to choose this field. but if you have the temperament of the people who do not think these skills as important to learn and grow, you are in no way a good fit for Literature.

Are you ready to bear the burden of extensive assignments?

If you are looking for an easy subject where you will get through a semester without any effort, English Literature should not be on your list. This is a subject where you can not even have a point of view without reading and preparing for it. So, if you are ready to do extensive assignments and love studying, it might be the right choice. 

You have to have a considerable command of language

 A common problem seen in the students of literature is that they do not have a considerable command of the English language. These students, when asked critical and detailed questions, are not able to produce quality answers as required. If you think English is not the language that you can learn and grow in, don’t look for this option.

This is literature, not English language

A common misconception that many students have before choosing English Literature is that the subject is about a language. Language is important but just one small part of it. This subject is more about history, philosophy, criticism, literature, and other intellectually challenging subjects. 

Long story short, English Literature is a huge subject that requires all of your intellectual, creative, and critical thinking skills. Without them, you might get a degree in Pakistan but your abilities will not be sufficient to call yourself a graduate of this subject. So, go for it only if you are ready to take the challenge.

Author

Ayesha Areej is a staff writer at The Academia Magazine

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