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On liberal arts and helicopter parents

| Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In my short time here at Notre Dame, it has astounded me how certain people view the issue of choosing a major. I don’t usually care to point out that, for most people, their major will not be the field in which they go into as their profession. But what truly scares me the most is that people are willing to make such decisions before they even come to school. I am in the College of Arts and Letters, and I have some leeway concerning what courses I take outside of my major, but people who choose to be business majors and engineering majors don’t fare quite as well. This isn’t a plug for more Arts and Letters students; this is a plug for finding something you truly love.

The issue of helicopter parents isn’t something that is going away in the near future, and in my opinion, it is something that will likely only get worse as young adults fight tooth and nail for their respective golden tickets to elite institutions of learning. These kinds of parents can cause permanent harm to students who feel the need to appease their parents with a major that will “get them a real job.” This mentality, frankly, makes me sick. As a result, we are seeing more and more double majors, one to appease the parents, and another for the real passion of the student. I plead to all students out there who may feel these pressures, don’t give in.

A major is a conduit in which a young scholar can feast on a bounty of knowledge and learning. I believe in the liberal arts, and I know there are some people who truly love and want to study chemical engineering, and it brings me joy knowing they are pursuing their passion. But for those of you who are pursuing a degree purely for the sake of acquiring a job that your parents will approve of post-graduation, please, reconsider. Above all, follow your heart and follow your passions.

To those of you who still are undecided, like me, or who are unsure of your current path, take heart in knowing that you are at a wonderful institution that can provide you with some of the greatest education our nation can muster; don’t squander it. And I implore you, discover what you truly find fascinating and pursue that passion, regardless of the opinions of others. If you’re learning about what you really love, then you’re getting the full value of your education and you’re bound for success.

Kit Jones


Oct. 11

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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