Our technologically inclined society has created a negative dogma surrounding arts and humanities. While the stereotype that all science majors become wealthy doctors could not be farther from the truth, it does encourage indecisive, undeclared major students to lean towards a STEM degree. As a result of incoming college freshmen picking a major associated with average higher salaries rather than actual enjoyment or talent, there are many upper class college students everywhere afraid of changing majors from STEM to some form of art or humanity. In other words, potential great literature buffs, artists, religion analyzers, and philosophy and communication students are suppressing their capabilities to satisfy society’s unrealistic demand for scientific and technological graduates within the workforce. I was one of these students.
Before changing my major after the closing of my freshman year, I was studying biology. I believe I continued the path of study partly because saying “I am a biology major” was a huge confident boost and sounded intelligent. Kudos to the students who are steady in their pursuit of this career; it is not for everyone, nor is it easy. However, now when asked what I intend to pursue in college, I confidently say, “I am and English major.” The difference in reaction is immense; like any other Liberal Arts major, while I know the opposing truth, the uses of an English major seem inexistent. Typically, I get responses like, “You really want to be a teacher?” or “You are wasting your parents’ money.” The best reaction I have received so far is: “Get ready for a sad life of day-drinking cheap wine alone with your cats.”
There must be a balance between art and science. We are taught to follow directions and to think creatively, only if the method is formerly accepted. Innovative ideas are recognized, only if they follow a traditionalist’s guideline. The United States has placed such an emphasis on careers in the STEM category that we have forgotten how to think. In the process of creating a job market that worships math and technology, we have ignored those who have a spark of creativity or talent. I am not here to argue that we do not need doctors, scientists, mathematicians, and computer engineers. What I want to see is a society that idolizes all careers, regardless of its relation to STEM. Students pursuing STEM degrees have the potential to better the job market and increase technological advancements. But, so do degrees of humanity subjects.
Do not refrain from changing majors to a Liberal Arts degree because you are afraid that others will perceive you as less intellectual or a quitter. I cannot promise you will not face negative reactions at some point; but, if you are choosing to pursue a career with a degree solely because society tells you it is best for job searching, change. Though you may get negative feedback from peers, in the end, it is much more rewarding to strive for a goal that makes you happy, rather than aiming to please the job market. Even if you believe the salary you desire is not as easily attainable through a liberal degree, change if the topic you currently study does not satisfy your creative desire. You have to do what makes you happy because, no matter how many 0s your potential future paycheck has, if you are not satisfied with your path of study, it is all a waste.