Featured image via Anna Schultz
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been looked down upon because of your major.
Raise your hand if someone’s ever made you feel stupid or lazy because of your major.
Raise your hand if, despite everything, you love your freakin’ major.
My hand is so (metaphorically) raised right now. I can still remember two years ago when one of my favorite high school teachers told me it “was a shame” that I was a Journalism major. I also remember him suggesting I major in Accounting or Pre-Med since I was “wasting my intelligence” on writing.
Cringe. When teachers you respect basically tell you that you’re wasting your brain by following your passions or that your major is seen as a joke, it’s not an easy pill to swallow. In fact, it isn’t hard to hear things like that and become embarrassed of your major or feel inferior for it.
Not wanting to be an engineer or a doctor doesn’t make you stupid. Wanting to be an artist, musician, journalist and so on doesn’t make you inferior or lazy. Your major says nothing about your intelligence—it says something about your passions.
Right before college my twin brother announced he was declaring an Engineering major while I, his, “artsy” sister declared Journalism. I automatically felt like a failure just because the societal view on the arts vs. the view on the sciences is so lopsided.
Then there was this divine revelation. I thought back to our nearly identical report cards and SAT scores. I realized that we were both smart individuals and the fact that he was choosing to engineer while I chose to write meant nothing other than different interests. Interest does not equal intelligence.
News flash: Science and math aren’t the only fields that require brilliance and skill. Who ever decided that any major that didn’t involve a ton of numbers should be stigmatized as a major for the less intelligent?
So, to every major out there: you are not dumbing yourself down for your major. You are not copping out or wasting your brain. Your major is not a joke, it’s a passion. It shows what you want, not what you’re capable of and not your IQ. Granted, my major is not Pre-Med or Engineering. But to say that Journalism is an easy major or a major that is “wasting my brain” is insulting and absolutely false.
The truth is, I’ve chosen to apply my intelligence in different ways and I’m happy with my major and the careers I’m headed for. I’ll never save lives in the ER, I won’t ever invent groundbreaking computer technology and I won’t find the cure for cancer but that doesn’t make me stupid. I’ll be the girl happily writing about all of those things. I mean, if no one was there to write about them, how would you know they were happening?
Every major has value and requires some form of intelligence—never let anyone make you think otherwise. Nothing says smart like fighting for your dreams and following your passions.
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