- This blog post was written by Ariel Natt. -
If you are, or ever were, a college student, you have undoubtedly been asked, “What are you studying?” In all actuality, you have probably been asked this hundreds of times, so often that you have crafted a rehearsed response. Mine is as follows:
“I’m a journalism major with a concentration in advertising.”
My response is usually met with a polite smile, neatly painted on the inquirer’s face. It is a look that silently says, “What a waste.” Why write when you could research? Why study advertising when you could study science? Why be a journalism major when you could be a STEM major instead? Isn’t journalism a dying field? Why would you choose that for yourself?”
Because I wanted to, that’s why. I traded my calculator for an AP Stylebook, and it was the best decision I ever made.
I’m a writer, and a good one at that. I decided to pursue a career that I will not only enjoy, but excel in. I love what I do and I do it well. While it is undeniable that print journalism is dwindling, I am learning far more than how to write articles. I am learning how to copy edit, run advertising campaigns, create digital content and much more. Just because I do not spend every night in the library does not mean that I am not working, or more importantly, that I am not learning.
The tedious work and long hours that STEM majors put in are extremely impressive, and I admire every single student who follows such a path. But, as college students, we often measure intelligence by numbers of hours in the library, or the amount of classes on your schedule, or even who slept the least the night prior. And that is just wrong. Sure, I may spend fewer hours in the library, but it is not because my major is a joke. It does not mean that my major is not challenging, or that I am not stressed as well. (Hint: We’re college students. We’re all stressed.) As my mom would put it, don’t compare your apples to my oranges.
I cannot do what many biology, chemistry or physics majors do, but I know that not everyone can do what I can do, either. I have heard stories of pre-med students degrading their friend’s choice of major, and shortly after asking the same friend to edit a paper for them.
Simply put, college is hard — regardless of your major. However, it is easier if we help each other out. As Mother Theresa put it:
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together, we can do great things.”
Let’s stop tearing each other down (i.e. Stop making fun of my liberal arts major! I’m a person too!) and just agree that we have different strengths and different skills. And different does not have to be bad. In fact, it is very good. It takes all types of people to make the world what it is, even us liberal art majors.
So, cut us some slack.
Supported by a Robert E. Bryan Fellowship from the APPLES Service-Learning Program, an offering of the Carolina Center for Public Service at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.