Dear Major Shamers

As students at a prestigious university, it’s natural to compare classes, grades, workloads, and pretty much everything else. This isn’t always the healthiest habit (check out this article on how we are ALL busy), but it’s something we are all guilty of. And yet, something I’ve noticed over the course of this school year is that there are a lot of people who won’t respect your major or your work just because it’s different from theirs. That being said, don’t let the haters get you down; stay true to who you are and what you’re passionate about!

Let me also say that the people that do hate on your major are overwhelmingly outnumbered by supportive friends and peers. But, that doesn’t mean we can let the major shamers go unchecked. I know as a Political Science and Communication Arts major, a lot of people don’t exactly understand what goes into my major or my classes. They see it as easy because it’s reading based, or don’t understand the daunting task of learning a semester’s worth of readings so you could write an essay on whichever one the professor picks.

With majors more focused on the STEM field, personally I think it can be a bit easier to understand the difficulty of the problems, equations, and material they work with. Let me be clear that I am in NO WAY saying that STEM majors are easier than other ones (doing organic chemistry sounds like my own personal hell), just that they openly get the credit they deserve for being difficult. It’s a lot harder to understand the difficulty of majors that work with more abstract or emotional content. Majoring in social work or education might not have you learning chemistry, but they are difficult and draining in their own ways.

It’s about time we started appreciating the diverse majors and fields there are, especially at UW, instead of arguing over whose work is harder. We are all here, at a top university, working our hardest in classes that we love not in spite of the challenge they present, but because of it. Even beyond that, let’s start building up everyone that chooses to follow their own path; whether you attend a technical college, work an apprenticeship, or are shooting for some sort of graduate work, each path is valid. No one should be criticized for choosing a path that works for them! If we spent as much time supporting each other in our individual passions as we did comparing and degrading different fields of study, we would all feel a lot more driven to succeed. At the end of the day, even the most self assured person appreciates hearing other people support and validate the path they’ve chosen to take. So, as the school year closes, make sure you’re being supportive of all your friends as they pursue the majors and careers they love.