It rocks to be a liberal arts major

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Not too many ‘icky science classes’

Bethany Hargrove
The Broadside

Someday I will figure out why the people who are unhappiest with their careers always assume everyone else is going to college solely to earn a degree with which they can make a lot of money.

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As an official Liberal Arts major with my sights set on a Ph.D in English, I’m very used to the age-old question—“What are you going to do with THAT degree?”

Well, I intend to do what most English majors intend to do… write. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. My biggest beef is with the people who automatically assume all liberal or fine arts majors are going to teach. No, actually, many of us want a degree in our subject because we want to excel at it.

I know my frustration is rather common. As an honorary member of the Facebook group “I Picked a Major I like, and Someday I will probably be Living in a Box,” which sports over a hundred thousand members, I have discovered that English majors are generally hopeless about their futures.

I blame the unwanted-advice-giving olders and wisers and their snide comments for this horribly common outlook. I, however, am of the firm belief that being a liberal arts major really rocks, for several reasons.

We have to take very few math classes. We don’t have to take very many icky science classes.  Generally, we’re doing the things that therapists recommend to the business majors to relieve stress… and we get credit for them. We get to hang out with other cool art people, and I’m not going to lie, there’s prestige. There’s a percentage of people whose faces light up with awe and respect when one says, “I am a writer,” or, “I am an artist.” They make the rude “what are you going to do with that major you ignorant child” comments seem less important.

Ultimately, being a liberal or fine arts major rocks because you are earning a degree in something you’d be doing anyway. I suppose it’s the same for many other majors, but I somehow can’t equate a love of English and words with a love of math and numbers.

I’d rather live in a cardboard box with a huge knowledge base of something I love than live in a mansion with a huge knowledge base of something I’m indifferent to.

You may contact Bethany Hargrove at bhargrove@cocc.edu

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