Today I took my last exams (The feminist structure vs. the patriarchal structure in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice and London as a "nightmare world" in Sam Selvon's The Lonely Londoners) and last Thursday I wrote my very last sources cited page and this morning I noticed how second nature quoting sources in papers has become and as of right this very minute I am no longer an English literature major because I finally have a degree in English literature.
I was so excited up until this point and suddenly I have no idea what I'm going to be doing for the rest of my life, and that sucks because the only thing I want to do is what I've been doing for the last five years: reading, writing, and talking about reading and writing.
When I was 18 I decided to be an English major because it was the only thing I was good at, but in my sophomore year I took an intro to poetry class and Sonnet 116 pretty much put the last nail in my coffin. I remember my professor going through the symbols and meter in the poem and I raised my hand and asked, I'm not even kidding, "Did he do that on purpose?" I was amazed.
That sonnet was it for me. I was suddenly passionate about something. I wanted to read everything and know all the stories and writers and to talk to everyone about everything that exists in books. And I still do, and that's what makes graduating so heartbreaking. How am I going to be happy without screaming matches over meaning and revelations about Shakespeare and every six months a big, fresh stack of assigned reading (things I would never pick up on my own) and a group of people with different brains and different opinions and different intellects who are essentially being forced to talk to me about something we've read together?
Literature has been my greatest love and graduating feels like we're breaking up. I wish I could start at the beginning again. I liked college and I loved my field, my professors, my peers, my textbooks, my assignments, and now, no more essays, no more MLA format, no more analyzing, no more theory, no more conversation. Just books for pleasure for the rest of my life, and where's the fun in that?