No, You Shouldn't Major in Econ, & Here's Why

One fun fact about me is that I only became Her Campus’ treasurer because I am a former econ major. Not because I was an econ major at the time, but because at that moment I had quit the major, and thus was deemed worthy of the job due to my two semesters of economics classes (neither of which I got A’s in). Since I became an expert in economics during those two measly semesters, I can tell you all you need to know about the econ major and why, in fact, you should not become one.

 

  1. 1. You’re only doing it because everyone is telling you to.

    My journey with economics began the summer before I came to Columbia when my internship boss sat another intern and I down and bluntly said, “Study economics. I am broke because I didn’t.” I didn’t yet realize is that your major should be about personal interests, and not just about the paycheck you might get in the future. As an impressionable 17-year-old, I equated studying economics with economic success, and when I came to Columbia and heard pitches for consulting and the opportunity to make more money than Midas, those thoughts were seemingly validated. As a result, I became a political science and economics double major, and thus began my trip to hell.

  2. 2. There are other and more interesting ways to make money.

    For one, I have never been more bored than sitting down and learning equations to calculate the subsidies of a company that sells six bananas. It was that same monotonous tasks that led to me to do terribly in economics. 

    While looking at my midterm during my second semester, I was shocked to find out that I had gotten a 71. As someone who had never gotten a 71 in her life, I of course had a meltdown for the rest of the day. After I received that grade, I was supposed to table and recruit people to staff a Model UN competition (staff CMUNCE!), and since I was assigned, I had to table. To any of you who saw the girl sobbing in the Diana Center asking people whether they wanted to help high schoolers gain Model UN confidence... that was me. 

    As I sat there crying in front of student tour groups, it hit me: you don’t need to be an economics major to make money. There are many jobs that are not in finance that can give you a lot of bang for your buck like a large quantity drug deal, becoming a mafia leader, or just being a rich person. (Just kidding! Sort of.)

  3. 3. Money doesn't equal happiness.

    When I was a junior in high school, our school had an opportunity for people to spend a day at a big shot law firm and speak to a lawyer. Me, wanting to be a lawyer and also wanting to get out of a day of APUSH, took this as a sign to go. While speaking to our lawyer, a young lawyer — let's call him Eugene — told us how much he hated his life. None of us were prepared for that bombshell. Eugene was making the big bucks, but he was still miserable. All I got from that day is that Eugene needed to speak to a therapist, but his life is a lesson to all of you fools still trying to be econ majors. Don’t be a Eugene: follow your dreams instead.

  4. 4. It’s so much more fun to do what you enjoy.

    When I spoke to my professor about my midterm, she rudely laughed at my exam and said, “Every single piece of math on this sheet is correct, but there is not a single right explanation for why.” My skills as a former math major really allowed me to step up my game (apparently liking being good at math is not the same thing as enjoying mathematics). 

    I told my professor I wanted to study econ, and she bluntly said, “don’t. Quit the economics major.” I’m going to skip the meltdown that happened afterwards and call it happily ever after. The next day, I decided to double major in political science and English with a film concentration, and have not regretted it yet. I get to write criticism of movies for class now and it’s kind of amazing.

  5. 5. None of it applies to the real world.

    Can we please acknowledge that no one is only going to sell five of one item? I don’t understand how any of what I learned applies to the real world and to actual economics. None of it is that neat. Who are Hank and Dave and why do they care so much about coconuts?

  6. 6. I am almost sure no one who was an economics major would survive the Purge.

    No explanation needed.

So from a former econ major, please save yourself and major in any other subject.