Shame on Major-Shaming

Major-shaming: (verb) the act of making someone feel embarrassed for their choice of major, often while discrediting the amount of work students in this major put in.

Major-shaming is a concept many college students are all too familiar with. Usually it comes up  in conversation with friends and peers about the amount of work we have to do, and things get competitive. People get defensive about their major being more elite and obsessive about telling you that you are taking an “easy way out” because you chose to major in X.

This has never made sense to me. Why would I ever tell another student that their major is easier than mine, when I myself haven’t experienced what their path is like? We pick our fields of study based off what resonates with us, what we enjoy, and what we are motivated to do. These factors are what make getting through all-nighters and piles of work a little bit easier.

That brings me to my next point: regardless of major, there is no hard-working student who has never had to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to finish work for class, or had to exile themselves to the library to get everything done. To say that there are majors that are less demanding and let students slide by on minimal effort is insulting and naïve. Just because it isn’t YOUR major doesn’t make it LESS of a major.

I live in an apartment with three other girls, and we all have very different majors that are paired with various concentrations and minors. I would never tell one of my roommates that their major isn’t as hard as mine. If anything, I think their majors would be more challenging for me because I couldn’t do what they’re doing, nor do I have the desire to. We’re not passionate about the same things. Their topics of study don’t resonate with me in the same way they do with them. I am not motivated to dedicate my life to their fields.

Thank goodness this is the case. We need each other to be diverse. We need our peers to do all the things we can’t, and don’t want to. We are all making it through college, we are all climbing our way to the top of that mountain of expectations, and we are all taking the path best suited for us. Stop major-shaming and let’s coexist.