Fourteen Entirely Relevant Questions to Ask College English Departments

Since we at the Adroit blog know high school seniors near and far are doing it around this time of year, let’s be real — the conventional questions (about funding, about class size) don’t strike a unique chord anymore. Here are some that might.

1. Do you host karaoke nights? If so, with what frequency? (Asking for a friend.)

2. In which aisle of the metaphorical grocery store would I find your English department stocked? 

3. Speaking of which, about how much free food would you say you provide the average English major with, per semester?

4. If your English department were a short story, what would be the title, and who would be the author?

5. What would you say the pH level of your institution would be? (Just an estimate is fine.)

6. If you could give your English department one (and only one) superpower, what would it be and why?

7. Friends or Seinfeld?
(Ed. Note: The answer should always be “Both.”)

8. Would you happen to know what portion of your undergraduate student body is comprised of closet fan-fiction writers? (Again, asking for a friend.)

9. It’s after midnight on a weekend, and an English major at your institution has a spoon in his or her hand. What is he or she eating?

10. Would you say your institution embodies the Times New Roman, Arial, or Garamond aesthetic?
(Ed. Note: If the answer is “Comic Sans,” run.)

11. Has your institution adopted a specific stance on the proper format of the em-dash?

12. Please respond with between five and eight emojis that most accurately represent your institution.

13. If your English department were a giant metaphorical hamburger, which condiments would you put on it?

14. And finally, the most relevant question of all:

What’s in it for me?

*Disclaimer: No comment has been made regarding the response rate to these questions.

Dearest high school seniors: We love you so. The college process will work out, even if it doesn’t feel like it! The important thing is that you take advantage of resources you have to make educated and well-informed decisions, with the reminder that happiness very likely can be achieved at multiple schools. Everything happens for a reason. As the fine fellows of William McKinley high once said…

Peter LaBerge

Peter LaBerge founded The Adroit Journal in 2010, as a high school sophomore. His work appears in Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Pleiades, and Tin House, among others. He is the recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

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