Most of the conversations start the same. Once someone finds out you’re in college, “What are you studying?” is the question that inevitably follows.
Depending on what you are actually studying, the reactions differ. Pre-med students and engineers are met with glistening eyes and impressed faces, while history and art majors are met with confusion and more questions about what they’re possibly going to do with their degrees.
Whether you’re talking to a relative or a complete stranger, how people respond to our chosen fields have an impact on how we view our own futures. Are we going to make enough money? Do we have any chance of being successful? Did we make a huge mistake? This constant questioning and self-doubt only complicates the already difficult process of figuring out what we choose to do with our lives – as if that decision isn’t hard enough.
From the very beginning, we’re told to follow our dreams and that nothing is impossible. And if you really want to be happy, you have to do something you love.
We get into school and are told that we must get the best grades to get into the best college to get the best job. And yet, when we finally get to where we want to be and pursue the dream job that we’ve always wanted, some of us are made to believe that we went wrong somewhere along the way. Somewhere between choosing to be a lawyer or an elementary school teacher, we took a wrong turn toward a path of uncertainty or disappointment.
Despite the fact that the gross misconceptions about the less than lucrative areas of study are completely overgeneralized, they also fail to see the bigger picture. Just as each living thing has its place in our ecosystem, each major has its place in our world. They have all evolved in their own right to fulfill a need in society. Though they appear to function as separate entities, in some small way, they work together as a whole. Without doctors, teachers wouldn’t have young, healthy minds to mold. Without IT people, business managers would never be able to come back from a computer crash. Without law enforcement, every workplace would have a lot more to fear.
None of us will ever know what it’s like to be on the other side. Journalism majors will never have to turn in 10-page lab reports and engineering majors will never know what it’s like to write up third grade lesson plans. Instead of trying to believe we’re somehow more important than our fellow majors or thinking we have to work so much harder, we need to start respecting each other’s individual interests. We chose our majors for a reason, and we deserve to be proud of our decisions.
So stop judging others, and start seeing the value in everyone. In the end, we’re all going to contribute to society in some way, and if we respect and support each other through it, we’ll be better off than ever before.
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