Liberal Arts on a STEM Dominated Campus

Purdue is globally known as an Engineering school. As soon as anyone hears that you are attending Purdue, they automatically assume it is for Engineering. There are over a hundred majors offered at Purdue, so why assume that everyone has the same major? There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a STEM major but there also isn’t anything wrong with not being one. However, both sides still seem to get a bad rap from each other.

It is astounding to me the amount of times that I have heard someone talk about how Liberal Arts students shouldn’t complain about classes being hard because their degree is “easy”, or have had someone tell me that I wouldn’t have gotten into Purdue if I had tried to apply to any of the other colleges besides Liberal Arts. Telling someone that what they are passionate about doesn’t matter and isn’t difficult can crush a person and make them look at you and themselves in a totally new way. Looking at it from the other side though, STEM majors also face a lot of issues too. Applying to Purdue is already very competitive, add in being a STEM major and it feels impossible. They have to hear about how they might not get in because so many other, smarter people are applying alongside them. Liberal Arts and STEM majors are like two sides of the same coin, both face hardships in their own way.

Majors outside of the STEM fields may be less demanding but they should not be looked down upon as being “less”. They are just as valid and difficult as STEM ones. Liberal Arts and STEM are just two very different realms. I know firsthand the difficulties on both sides. In high school I took engineering classes and art classes. Both are very different and therefore have very different obstacles and demands. Sitting through three-hour studios and submitting portfolios that sometimes bare your feelings and soul are not easy tasks. Taking Calculus, Chemistry, and Programming are also very grueling. If you dive deeper than just the surface though, you’ll see that these two areas are actually not all that different. Both require creativity and a whole lot of your time and effort, in order to achieve your goal or finish your project.

If there was a way to have every student switch to the complete opposite major for a day and learn what others go through, I think there would be a lot less discrimination and bias towards other majors. At the end of the day we are all Purdue students regardless of our majors and we should all be treated equally by our peers. Think twice before you belittle someone else’s choice in major and think about how that would feel if someone did it towards you. We all got into Purdue and should all be proud of that. They saw potential in all of us, so give each other some credit.