I was at a party in college when I struck up a conversation with a guy who had tagged along with a friend of mine. As we started talking, he asked me what I was studying—a go-to “get to know you” question for college students.
“I’m actually a double major,” I told him, “in both English and Communications.”
“Oh, so you didn’t want to pick a real major?”
Let’s just say that was the last conversation I had with this guy. After brushing off this blatantly rude remark, I realized that this wasn’t the first time that someone had given me slack about what I was choosing to study for these four years. I’ve often had friends joke with me about how my classes must be oh-so easy or say that I probably never do any real work and instead just sit around and read books all day. Why, because they saw me reading a novel for class instead of doing math problems or memorizing biology terms? Having someone put down your college major is a bummer, and no one ever wants to feel like they are being judged.
It’s completely frustrating when someone disses your major, and disrespectful for someone to put down something that you’ve devoted your college career to. But I think that everyone is missing a major point here, and that’s the fulfillment in studying a topic that interests you, and the enjoyment of using your degree to pursue a career that you have a passion for. Key concept here being you, and what you want for your life. So here’s why it’s totally unfair for someone to judge you based on your major, and why you should vouch for what you’re passionate about:
Everyone is different, and therefore has different interests. We pursue various fields of study based on what we want to learn more about, and therefore what’s right for your college career might not be what’s right for your friends on campus. What you love will most likely be different from others, and that is perfectly okay. Don’t let your peers tell you that your classes are somehow wrong or illegitimate just because they don’t match up with what someone else has chosen to pursue. You’re the only one writing your story.
There are so many careers out there that will fit your specific and unique niche—one that will be very different from your current college peers. Your interests will make you successful at your future career and make you the perfect—and necessary—asset to fill a role on the job market. The skills you possess from completing your specific major won’t be the same as someone who took a different route, and they have no right to say that your major won’t lead you to a successful career in the future. Especially one that they wouldn’t be able to do themselves.
As people, we are naturally happy when we are doing what we love. It’s important in life to seek out whatever makes you happiest—and throwing yourself into the things you love is the first step in doing this. Putting yourself on a track that everyone says is the “best” one won’t set you up for success if it isn’t something that you enjoy. You know what you want to do in the long run, and it is important to make the pursuit of your passions a priority in life. Remember, yours are different from the person next to you and make you happy, and that’s what great about being an individual.
There isn’t specific criteria to determine what types of classes are easy—that’s just a subjective opinion. Advanced math for an engineering class is difficult, but so is writing a 10 page paper on British Literature. There’s a common assumption that specific majors are easy because of the subject matter, and that just isn’t true. The work is just different, and requires a different skill set to successfully accomplish things required in that field—but that doesn’t mean that one is essentially harder than the other.
It isn’t cool when someone you know tells you that your major doesn’t measure up to others, but it’s easy to feel confident in knowing that you chose it because it is something that you love and will continue to enjoy.
Photo by Thomas