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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Medford’s Carrie Bradshaw: ‘The End of the English Major’

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The New Yorker says it is “The End of the English Major.”

A new article byNathan Heller, published on Feb. 27 in The New Yorker, came on my feed the other day.

In the article, Heller provides a perspective on a current issue plaguing college campuses nationwide: Fewer college students are choosing to major in the humanities than ever before. Even Tufts isn’t safe. “From 2012 to 2020 … Tufts lost nearly fifty per cent of its humanities majors, and Boston University lost forty-two,” Heller wrote.

How could Tufts University, founded on its liberal arts education, have lost half of its humanities majors? Have I been stuck in the past reading Jane Austen novels and learning how to write creatively? Was the film class I took last semester a waste of time, and was my enjoyment of it confused with passion?

I don't know why, but as an English and film and media studies major, this triggered my fight-or-flight response.

NEW YORKER, DON'T SAY THAT IM AN ENGLISH MAJOR!! REPRESENT!” I commented.

I woke up the next morning and was shown that the internet still hadn’t changed since I’d last decided to comment on a largely public post. Comments attacking my character, my ‘grammar’ and my generation were spewed across my Instagram, and dozens of middle-aged activists and internet trolls had requested to follow me. 

“You may be an English major, but you’re definitely not a grammar major,” @LegozKing42 commented to me.

He got me there. Truthfully, I had neglected to show that I did indeed know what I was talking about, but for some reason in that moment, I felt like I had to defend my honor.

I honestly don’t see why this debate over humanities versus STEM has grown so rampant, with people viewing it as a ‘make it or break it’ regarding your future income. Frankly, in my opinion, it’s nobody’s business how much money you’ll earn with your degree.

So, The New Yorker, I sincerely hope it’s not true. I hope it’s not the end of the English major — or any major that people want to study, for that matter.