I walked into my poetry class this past week, and when I sat down and looked up, I saw NANOWRIMO written on the whiteboard. There was a moment of shock, followed by a wide-eyed look around the room. No one else was saying anything about it, but I was sitting there having what felt like an epiphany. I admittedly took out my phone and tried to snap a picture, but I sat in the back and it just wasn’t coming out clear (plus, my phone makes a loud shutter-snapping sound, which was slightly awkward in an otherwise silent classroom).
When my professor came in, she was just as excited as I had been. She then started class with a 15 minute lecture about NaNo and how wonderful it is, through which I wore a grin the entire time. As it turns out, many people in my class know what NaNo is, and a handful have even participated.
It is difficult to explain how spectacular it felt to look around the room and see a dozen or so people who were just as excited about and invested in noveling as I am. I’ve already found a few people in my classes with whom I plan to spend the long November days, our fingers starting fires because of how furiously we will be typing on our keyboards.
That day was the moment I realized I had found my tribe. English people are my people. We speak the same language. (And we all feel utterly homeless and abandoned with the renovations happening on Eddy).
I think everyone needs to have that moment. That moment when you realize that there could not possibly be any other better place for you to be; when you are surrounded by people who are just as passionate as you are about things like characterization and setting (well, maybe that’s just English majors, but you get my point.)
If you haven’t had that moment yet, or if you can’t see yourself ever having that moment, perhaps you should take some time to assess where you are, where you’re going, and the goals you have for the future. It was a hard decision for me to change my major, but once I did there was no doubt in my mind that I had done the right thing.
My suggestion for you is to go out there and find your people, find your place. If you’ve been doubting your major, think about switching. Your people are out there waiting for you, and you’ve just got to find them. Go young intellectual, and find your tribe.
Natalie Juteau can be reached at email@example.com.