I’m excited for the new semester to start at the end of the month (uh, It’s August already…when did that happen?) I’m excited for classes and textbooks and being reunited in Buffalo with all my roommates and my friends.
I was discussing my excitement with a friend the other day and he didn’t seem so enthused about the onset of another academic year. “Why do you seem to be dreading it?” I asked him.
His response? “Because I, unlike you, have a real major and a new semester means new and harder work. I am not looking forward to getting my ass kicked by the biology department again.”
How are my TWO majors (English and History) not “real”? I am sick and tired of being ragged on for my choice in areas of study by people who think that their majors are “better” because they involve things like math and science. Really. Get a life. Just because you’re going pre-med or majoring in psychology and are headed for (what you think is) a lucrative career doesn’t mean you can jump on your high horse and make everyone else with a liberal arts major feel like they don’t matter.
I’m taking a graduate level class next semester and writing an honors thesis which should amount to over 100 pages. What are YOU doing with your time Mr. Bio major? Sitting in a lab doing research, probably working just as hard as I am.
So, people with math and science majors are going to invent new technologies and create new cures of diseases, but how would you have gotten there if it weren’t for your high school teachers with liberal arts degrees to start your education? How will the world know about your scientific break through if there’s no English major journalist to report on it? How will your new cure for cancer or bipolar disorder get put in history books if there’s no historians around to add it?
Every major should be treated with equal respect because you know what? We’re all connected. We all need each other and our chosen professions. The scientists need help with grammar so their research papers flow smoothly, the English teachers need the advancements in medicine, the psychologists need their history books of previous psychological theories to help them help patients, and historians need carbon-dating scientists to help them unlock the mysteries of newly found artifacts.
We all need each other to succeed in our chosen areas of academic study. Every major is as “real” as the next one and we all work just as hard. We should respect one another because one day Dr. Cocky is going to need THIS English major for something and she’s going to remember what a dick he was.
Plus, I find the fact that I’m excited to go back to school reassuring. It means I picked the right course of study. I have to work hard to balance a honors thesis, 2 majors and a minor but I enjoy my subject matter and I WANT the semester to start. If you’re so reluctant to go back to school because you don’t want to work hard at the subject you chose to pursue, it’s probably because you picked the wrong major. Maybe you want to major in the liberal arts but didn’t because you were told your whole life that they weren’t “real” majors.
I call bullshit. College is about finding out what you like and going for it. Maybe you’ll make more money with your Bio degree but you’ll be miserable. I’ll be poorer but happier, which is the winning situation if you ask me.
So stop calling my major “fake.” If it’s so fake then why do I have multiple internships and like it so much? Why do I work so hard at it?
The definition of a “real” major is something you can not only make a career out of but enjoy, too. So think about that next time you’re in the library writing about neurons and synapses hating your life and I’m next to you writing about the complete works of William Shakespeare and loving every minute of it.