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Why Everyone Should Take Liberal Arts Classes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

I have really enjoyed the past two years of my college education. I feel like I have learned so much and I am really getting prepared for the ‘real world.’ However, when people ask me what my major is, I suddenly feel a sense of inferiority. I tell students and adults alike; “I’m a double major in communication and sociology,” and a lot of the time I am faced with a look I can only describe as disappointment. Why am I not pursuing a STEM degree? Why am I only taking “easy” classes? Because STEM is a huge and lucrative field right now, people tend to think that any non-STEM-related major is less important. I disagree with this fully — I think that every college student should be taking some type of liberal arts classes, even if they think they have no interest in the subjects.

Liberal arts are subjects outside of the professional and technical fields. This includes anything from literature to anthropology to the social sciences. Liberal arts courses are typically based on the goal of thinking critically and being able to gain general knowledge on a wide range of topics. I think being able to think critically is a huge skill everyone should gain in college. First, it is essential to be able to read or watch media and be able to pull out the bigger picture, as well as form your own opinions about the media. It is also a super important life skill to be able to think critically about your life and the world around you. 

Not only does a liberal arts education help you to think critically about the world around you, but it can also help to expand your worldview. I have taken multiple classes where students were given opportunities to share their own stories, and my view on life has been changed by the stories of others. I think liberal arts classes would be especially beneficial to those who think their worldview doesn’t need any expansion. I also feel like there is a lot more opportunity in liberal arts classes to discuss current events and issues. Not only do these classes make you culturally and politically aware, but they also help you to fit those events and issues into the broader context of society. Being able to connect events to each other is another essential skill anybody would benefit from, and I think that knowing about these events in full really helps to bring people together.

Lastly, a liberal arts education allows you to work creatively. You are not going to have a strict list of instructions given to you every time you need to complete a task as an adult. Lots of jobs look for people who are able to work creatively and can come up with creative solutions to problems. Having a lot of open-ended writing assignments during my college career has really encouraged me to look at prompts in a creative way, and has made me more self-motivated.

I believe liberal arts education is not treated as a top priority right now, and it should be. It really encourages students to learn more about themselves and the world around them; challenging them to develop their own ideas and discover their strengths. 

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Brynn Geary

U Mass Amherst '24

Brynn is a senior and a communication and sociology major at UMass Amherst. Aside from writing, Brynn spends most of her time dancing, going to concerts and searching for the perfect iced oat milk latte.