1) You don’t take a long look at a novel, just to say, “Iski toh movie dekhte hain.”
Remember those times when we argued that books were always better than their movies? Hah! Don’t stake your grades on it, my friend. Reading is brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but when you’re supposed to thoroughly read, analyze and explain in detail around 10 books a semester (on average), complete with background, you can’t fault anyone for trying to make their life easier by watching movies. Literature students will understand the internal moral struggle. Most books (Beloved, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) and short stories have been adapted to the silver screen, and it is also possible to watch play productions of famous works (Macbeth, Dr.Faustus, The Glass Menagerie). Whatever gets you through the semester right?
2) You don’t kick up big intellectual debates in class so that the professor can waste a little more time.
This is a personal favorite. Note to people attempting this: make sure that the professor is nice enough to want to discuss related themes and most probably won’t cut your internal assessment marks if they figure out what you’re actually doing. Right, so start on a valid general topic, the kind you add into every answer in the exam like gender, religion, politics etc. Pick a character or event and then build up as you mean it. Watch the rest of your class realize what you’re doing and add in a couple of points. Fend off rebuttals from those people in the class who haven’t caught on yet. Witness battle lines being drawn while the professor acts as an enthusiastic moderator. Hopefully class will end before anyone gets hurt.
3) You aren’t deeply resentful- yet respectful of that one person who has read everything. Like all of it. Every time.
So we all have this one person in class who has somehow magically read it all, understood it all, and isn’t shy to tell the world about it. They know the author more intimately than you know your socks and explain the background as if they’d lived through this shit. And you try to make your apparently incompetent self feel better by thinking they don’t have a life. Although, how badly do you wish you could just download what they know into your brain? No way around it, you’ve got to put in the time.
4) You haven’t had a crisis regarding your future plans.
Chances are, no relatives have given you a standing ovation once you tell them that you’re doing English Honours. Why they think we’ll end up as tuition teachers are beyond me. Your friends think they’ll have to take you in and your teachers are worried you’re not exactly academician material.
What do you love the most? Donuts? What kind? Say, chocolate. Now how would you feel if I condescendingly told you that your love for chocolate donuts is impractical and has no future? Yup. Just because we enjoy what we study, doesn’t mean we’ll make up for it in the future by doing jobs that barely notch minimum wage. Of course, there’s no actual blueprint for what we all will end up doing…because versatility, that’s us.
5) Your love affair with several literary characters isn’t ruining your dating life.
Oh, don’t even bother denying it. Do you want me to go first? Okay, I love Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables and the ghost of the captain from The Ghost and Mrs.Muir. Also, every male protagonist in every Anuja Chauhan book, to name a few. You know who you are, you fan-fiction writing, book-club following, comfort re-reading fools. It’s sad how reality will always be a let-down but we must give real people a chance, okay? There are so many different kinds of nice and fun people out there, so get out of your head and meet a few.
6) People don’t try to make use of your skills.
Look it’s a reflex okay? We literature students mentally correct conversations, tinder profiles, captions, and spellings in assignments that aren’t ours and are capable of condensing meaningful speeches into a single sentence. Basically, people think it’s okay to talk to us only to ask for definitions, and our friends think they can rely on our opinion when they send screenshots captioned, ‘SO WHAT DOES HE MEAN???’ Also, never forget the self-entitled “friends” who expect us to spew poetry and write their essays when they so command. I mean yes we are used to in-depth thinking, but don’t exploit it because this over-thinking screws with us too, plus we’re not that smart anyway (or are we?).