From Then to Now: A Perspective from A Retrospective English Senior
Luke Pearson is a senior English major and History minor here at Clemson University. Born and raised in the small town of Trumbull, Connecticut, Pearson discovered his passion for English his sophomore year in high school after reading J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief.”
Pearson didn’t begin as an English major at Clemson, however. He originally had plans to pursue a Biology degree and go to medical school but realized his freshman year that reading and writing was more his forte and switched majors.
When it came to picking what major to switch to, Pearson remembered his love for reading in high school and chose to pursue an English degree. “Not only do I enjoy reading, but I also figured that I definitely needed to improve my overall English skills since I picked up on it late in high school. And to be completely honest, I thought it would be a lot easier than other majors (which I later found out to be very, very wrong),” says Pearson.
One thing that Pearson has learned is that the English major can be very competitive. “Nearly every English class I´ve had at Clemson has been in a small classroom that is discussion based,” says Pearson, “[This pushes] people to try to stick out and prove themselves.”
Throughout his years at Clemson, Pearson has learned valuable skills such as creative writing, screenwriting, literary criticism, and reading comprehension. He’s found many different instances where he has applied his talents to the real world. He credits to Dr. Stockton for teaching him how to approach texts with a critical eye and how to uses those skills successfully in his personal life.
People in the English field know very well how there are many misconceptions about the English major. Pearson initially thought that the English major would be easy and that it would be primarily reading- and writing-oriented. Not only did he find out that the major required just as much time and effort as any other major, but also the major incorporates so much more than reading and writing. Here, Pearson points to his class Issues with Writing Technologies taught by Dr. Tharon Howard; “Students [in the English major] get to do much more. In Dr. Howard’s writing technology course, students create video presentations with Camtasia, give presentations on social media issues, and even create resumes with various mediums and media.”
“My number one piece of advice I would give to any freshman is doing your readings, be disciplined and never fold,” says Pearson. “I’ve realized it can be mind-boggling after reading thirty-five pages of something and having to do another twenty or so pages, but just keep pushing yourself because it pays off.” Not only is this beneficial for the student, but it helps regarding the student-professor relationship. “It’s extremely obvious to your professor and the class that you didn’t read,” warns Pearson.
After graduation, Pearson plans on moving back up north and attending University of Connecticut School of Law. Alternatively, his primary goal is just to be happy. “Through past experiences, I have come to the realization that no matter how much money you have, you need good friends, good health, and happiness.”
Written By: Hannah Rohaley