All Majors Have Value

College is the pinnacle of stress, sleep deprivation, money hardships, and growth in most individuals’ lives. Whether you are close to home, across the country, at an institution with tens of thousands of other people, or a small college, each person faces their own set of struggles along the way. On the bright side, we are all going through this time in our lives together, so we are all understanding of the general circumstances that others are feeling, right? Think again.

Throughout time, there has been an overarching stigma of what areas are inherently “better” to study versus which ones are a “waste of time.” In most cases, this was generally perpetuated by individuals such as parents, guardians, teachers, and older generations. However, recently there has been a surge of this rhetoric finding its way into conversations between college-age peers, students, advisors, and sometimes even in classrooms.

people sitting in chairs in a classroom viewed from behind Sam Balye on Unsplash We’ve all seen it, read tweets about it, or heard people making comments. Whether that means straight-up disrespecting others majors or simply making it a contest between majors of who can complain more about the course load, there are many ways we see this strive to think our major is the most important manifesting itself into daily college life. To be completely honest, even I at some point have acted like my major was more important than others’. As someone who initially began as a STEM major and later switched to a Business Marketing major, I can understand multiple sides of the debate. (Side note: I’m sorry to all the business majors I made fun of before I became one) On the one hand, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily trials that you face on an individual basis. If your work is this difficult and time-intensive, it has to be harder than what others are doing, right? Couple this with the broader societal ideals towards the areas of study that bring with them more monetary gain following college are of more importance, and this only goes to further the divide between different majors. But, if we are truly thinking logically, there has to be some extent that we understand that any area of study at a large, research-based university is going to be difficult.

So then, why is it that every time I explain to others that I switched from studying chemistry to studying marketing, that I feel the need to include the fact that it wasn’t too difficult and that I’m hoping to go to law school following graduation? Why is it that even though we understand the difficulty it takes to get into any college program, we still find some inherently better than others? And most importantly, why are we reducing people’s entire fields of study down to the butt of some types of cheap humor?

While this should go without saying, it’s about time that we accept the importance of all types of study without trying to place them on some theoretical scale of what is “best.” Without the arts, where would we find our culture and entertainment? Without business, where would our economy be and how would we find the means to live the life we wish to? With science, where would we find so much of the innovation that drives our modern world? The answer is that without any of the fields of study that we are quick to write off because they’re “easy,” we would exist in a world that would not be worth living in.

Unsplash So, let’s make it a priority to not further this rhetoric that has been passed down by generations before ours. On a daily basis, let’s find ways to support our fellow students, regardless of how difficult you – someone who isn’t studying their field – assumes their work is. And as individuals, let’s accept the fact that while our work may be hard, there is no way to rank difficulty or importance between different ways of thinking. Because in the end, that’s all a different major is – a different way of solving the problems we see in our world.

If we all share the common goal to solve these problems, why is it that we are making more problems for our peers along the way?