So you’re majoring English literature but you’re not sure what will come next the moment you take off that robe and cap you proudly wear in your graduation day.

Don’t fret. You’re not alone. So that means you’re not unique. Sorry about that.

Also, don’t worry. Like seriously. You’ll find a job. Why? Because you have a college degree and that ijazah of yours will be the so-called currency in professional world (although it’s not necessarily always the case).

Also, as an English graduate, you have advanced critical thinking abilities. You know how to read critically and it gives you the ability to excel in critical and creative writing. You know that language has power and you know how to put it into a good use and there’s a whole field of jobs for that.

You may think that you chose the wrong major. Don’t ever think that it’s a waste. It’s still an education and education is never a waste. You’ll get a job out of it.

But will it be a cool job? That entirely depends on you; your skill, your passion, your determination, your luck, and your own definition of a cool job. But you’ll find one even if you got C in Literary Theory.

Trust me when I say this: no human resource manager will give a single fuck about whether you get A in Translating Literary Works or D in Pragmatics.

So if you’re still upset because Pak Iwa gave you a C for Functional Grammar, get over yourself.

Take a friend of mine who got C in Copywriting. Believe it or not, he’s now working as a copywriter in a digital company. Rumor has it, it pays well.

You’ll find a job, if not soon, eventually. You’ll hate that job and you’ll quit. You’ll find another and you’ll hate it. This will go on and on until you find one that’s good enough, pays enough, cool enough, and most importantly fulfilling enough. Be it an office job, a business you start your own, or whatever it is, you’ll find a job.

But work starts long before the job. Before the job, you have to read that novel. You have to finish that paper. Write that essay. You have to do your assigned task in that group project. You have to pass that test. Skip class if necessary and within limits. But most of the time, be present. You don’t have to do these things excellently. You’re not Hermione Granger. But don’t settle for mediocrity. Sometimes, good is enough.

Sure, you won’t get paid doing all these things. But it will get you through interviews and eventually get you a job. One way or another, it will pay off.

And also, stay hopeful. As cliché as it sounds, it helps. But it doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait till things get better. Hope demands that we act and do something.

So get your shit done. Get through college alive. At least get that degree your mom and dad hope you get. Graduate and you’ll get a job.


Citra got her bachelor’s degree in English in 2013. She is a proud INFJ, cat lady, and aspiring bibliophile.