Ask any student in the field of English Literature, Media, Creative Writing & Music what the world’s response is to their degree.
“What can you do with that?”
“That must be fun; reading books all day”
“Do you have a plan? It doesn’t seem very practical”
It’s disheartening to hear such criticism towards a decision you put every ounce of your passion into. To study the humanities didn’t need a specific goal or plan in place. It’s your first love. It’s all for that breathtaking stanza of Keats’ “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” or that tingle up your arm as you hear the right chord slot into the melody. You don’t just hear music; you see it and you feel it where others don’t. In times of struggle, your worries don’t come blurting into another’s ears but are battered into the lines of a half filled notebook. You see the world a little differently. It doesn’t make you better than anyone else. But it makes you different.
You mustn’t underestimate the power of the Arts. What can a book do? What can it do to help the world?
The answer? The craft of writing makes up the world. Think back to a time you were moved by something. Really moved. Think to a time when an emotion was provoked or a thought was triggered. Simply think back to the last time you learnt something; something as complex as world politics or something as little as that piece of gossip that popped up on your Facebook home screen. I guarantee you it was something you either read or watched. A movie you got off Putlocker that moved you to tears. An article on buzz feed that showed a moving story; a real life story. Or maybe it was something a child said to you. Or how kind someone was to you.
Everything we perceive is fed from a brain filled with creativity and busting with information. We grew up with children’s books that told us the sugar-coated realities of life and the essence of emotions through the struggles of Snow White and Spongebob. We grew up with an overshadowing media reporting back on the neighbors of the big wide world. We live in a re-engineered and changing society. We go to rom-coms for guidance on love. We read textbooks to learn and then to write. We take inspiration from all the art in the world.
We look through the perception filter of the arts.
In all honesty, I think there is plenty I can do with my degree.