Why We Need to Stop Stereotyping Majors

I have always been passionate about history. Any kind of history, really: World History, European, Asian, etc. You can usually find me watching history videos on YouTube or annoying my friends with history tidbits that they definitely did not want to know. When I came to college I decided not to major in History even though I so badly wanted to. Why? Because of its reputation. If I am a History major, I am thought of as not having my life planned out. Why would I major in something as useless as History, right? Wrong. It took me all of my freshman year to realize that the stereotypes based on your major are bullsh*t and understand why we should really stop judging people based on their focused area of study.

The second I got to college, it seemed the million dollar question from all my friends and family was was “What’s your major?” My first response was “I have no clue I am just a freshman; I have no idea where my life is going and I can’t even figure out what I want for breakfast.”  I decided to get my general requirements out of the way and chose not to pick my major right away. Everyone around me seemed to have an opinion as to what I should major in. “Communications is the “wifey” major, you only take that if don’t want to work and find a rich husband.” “Engineering is for the smart students who don't have a life” and “Ross is for the only kids who will be successful.” These comments influenced me a lot. I spent much of my time at Michigan running away from my love of history just so I wouldn’t be judged. However, after joining a sorority and different clubs, I started to make friends with all different majors that completely dispelled each stereotype I once had. A bunch of my friends are engineers, but even with all of their work they still like to have fun and have a social life. I took a Communications class with a lot of Comm majors and it was not filled with stupid people. Instead, it was filled with many people eager to learn about the ins and outs of media and its production, distribution, and effects. And, of course, my friends in Ross are really smart and totally deserve to be there. They are probably set up to have great careers but that doesn't mean my fellow History majors are doomed to live life on the streets.

What I want you to know, incoming freshman and really anyone who is undecided or unhappy in her major, is to do what you love. Be smart and discover the different career options for your major and how it can mix with other fields of interest. I believe that if you truly do what you love, you’ll figure the rest out later. Life is too short to spend some of the best years of your life dreading going to class everyday. My mom went to Michigan and was pre-med. She killed herself all four years thinking she was going to be a doctor even though she really wanted to do something creative. She deferred Medical school for a year even though it was prestigious and what she thought everyone wanted for her. During that year, she went to art school and got her dream job working for Ogilvie Advertising Agency and she never touched a stethoscope again. My point being: life is short and precious, so if you want to major in classical archaeology, aerospace engineering, or the Russian language, do it. Don’t pay attention to the outside noise that sways you away from your path to a successful and fulfilling life.

Images courtesy of: Michigan LSA