The world needs all of us
Nicole Caratas | Tuesday, January 30, 2018
As an English writing and humanistic studies double major, I’ve heard it all. “Oh, are you going to teach?” “What are you going to do with that?” “What do your parents think?” “Oh, you’re in easy majors! You just read all of the time!”
Nothing bothers me more than the way people are quick to assume that my majors are “easy.” STEM fields get a lot more respect than humanities fields, but that doesn’t make one more difficult than the other. More importantly, being in different fields doesn’t make one discipline more valuable than the other.
And I’m not just saying this because I’m tired of people looking down on my majors. I’ve heard people talk about other majors, like elementary and secondary education, and say even worse things. “Oh, they’re just making lesson plans.” “It’s not the same thing. Some majors are just harder than others. Education just isn’t like math or engineering.”
Now, I’m not trying to say math and engineering and other STEM majors are by any means easy. I’ve taken math and science classes, so I know that it takes a lot of work to spend four years doing that. But English is also difficult. And I have no doubt that education is also.
I had someone rant to me one time about how his brother “only” did a thesis in film studies, but the brother tried to compare that thesis with this person’s thesis in math. He was upset that his brother would ever think that something like a film studies major could be comparable to math.
Any education is valuable. Going to college is an amazing opportunity that a lot of us take for granted. And the fact that so many people get to choose what they go to school for is incredible.
No one should look down on other people’s majors. Just because something seems easy to you doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. More importantly, no one’s work in college is less valuable than anyone else’s. Just because you think your major is hard and more important based on societal values does not give you the right to look down on people.
Our society needs engineers, doctors and scientists. It also needs writers, historians, scholars and educators. If there was no place in society for a major or discipline, they wouldn’t exist.
Especially in our small communities here at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame, we should all uphold each other’s academic work rather than compare and judge. All of our work is important. It all has value. And one person’s perceived level in intensity is not the end all be all of how important a major is.
We are better than that, and the world needs all of us.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.