When it comes to undergraduate students in the English Department, The English Undergraduate Association is a community touchstone for one of the largest departments in the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley. Since 1993, the English Undergraduate Association has hosted activities, provided opportunities to network, and helped English majors connect with one another.
In this spirit, we have created a new series for the Wheeler Column: EUA’s Humans of English, which will highlight the stories of English majors in the department. This first reflection comes from Taylor Follett, EUA Vice President.
Taylor Follett: I’m a sophomore declared English major with a huge passion for reading and entirely too many books for my tiny apartment. I chose the English major because, frankly, there was not really any other option for me. When I was 3, my parents gave me a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for Christmas and it was basically all downhill from there. Since then, I’ve read literally everything I could get my hands on. For most of my life, I have had a book within five feet of me at any given time. When it came time to choose a major, it was just a question of what major would allow me to read the most and analyze the literature I did read. The English major does that!
English, and specifically reading literature, has been the biggest part of my life for as long as I can remember. If you tried to get me to talk about myself without talking about books, I wouldn’t have very much to say. Ninety percent of my personality lies within my passion for English. English here has only intensified that. For the first time, I get to engage with the books I love in ways that are entirely new to me. The complex analysis I am learning how to do and the incredibly interesting lectures that I get to attend make me appreciate the literature so much more and heighten my reading experience.
Being a part of the English Undergraduate Association (EUA) has significantly changed my experience in studying English at Cal. It has served as an incredibly valuable academic resource, giving me tools to write better papers, an idea of what applying to grad school will look like or my career options, and a way to connect with professors beyond the lecture hall. It’s also allowed me to make a place at Berkeley where I can connect with people who are passionate about the same things that I’m passionate about. Because of the EUA, I have a community where I can talk about literature, as well as friends who I can turn to for help and peer editing or just reading group.