We've all had that moment at school when you start explaining your major or college to someone and they automatically ask those stereotypical questions that you've answered one too many times. No, just because I'm in the College of Education and Human Development doesn't mean I get to make crafts and unicorns all day or kick back when finals roll around. The stereotypes that surround your major make you wonder what things define your college--do they make for a positive or more cringeworthy reputation?
1. College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Science (CFANS)
Everyone always associates you with Bailey Hall, the smell of manure, and that one day during the semester when farm animals come to Northrop. It’s hard for non-CFANS students to realize that CFANS is more than just getting down and dirty in the world of agriculture. Not to say that having a major that gets down and dirty is automatically inferior than one that doesn’t (because it isn’t), but there is a lot to CFANS that people don’t know about...like a career path in Nutrition, Animal Science or Agricultural Education. So when you experience that slight pause after explaining your major to someone who doesn’t appreciate the impact that CFANS has on the workforce, you can probably guess they're thinking about manure.
2. College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)
Basically being in the College of Education & Human Development is spending your time explaining that you don’t spend all your time buying craft supplies and kicking back while everyone suffers during finals week. CEHD majors are interested in working on a social level and making a personal impact on others' wellbeing. Whether they aspire to do this through education as a teacher or on a larger, community-based level as a social worker, they broaden our knowledge and make the world a little bit better of a place. While designing lesson plans for elementary-school-aged kids involves a lot of crafts and fun activities, there’s tons of work and key strategies that need to be applied so every student comprehends the core concepts they learn in class. Also, please do us all a favor and stop asking CEHD majors if they know the average teacher's salary because they actually do know these things.
3. Carlson School of Management (CSOM)
Welcome to Carlson School of Management, where my major is all about me and preparing myself for future financial success. I’d be shocked if the majority of people on campus aren’t in CSOM because, I swear, all I can hear on campus are the groans and complaints of CSOM students. If you asked me to tell you every single detail about I-Core, I probably could. That’s how much I’ve heard from you Finance and Marketing majors over the course of the three semesters I’ve been on campus. I'm not saying that being in Carlson isn't hard or a pain in the ass, but I swear they thrive off of complaining and talking about economics classes that a non-CSOM student "couldn’t understand." But, CSOM is a lot more than balancing checkbooks and being the future CEO of some huge company. From working in non-profit management to doing international business on behalf of the United States, Carlson majors do a lot of talking and charming in order to play a big role in our economy. That's a lot of pressure. So maybe you do have your right to groan.
4. College of Science and Engineering (CSE)
CSE majors understand a high level of mathematical thinking that I will never be able to process during my lifetime. Somehow, they get the equations and concepts outside the physical realm of science and are able to apply them to real-life scenarios which is, to say the least, impressive. There’s just something about being a CSE student that gives you street cred on the UMN campus; maybe it's the, “Wow, I could never do that” response they always when they tell others what they're majoring in. Besides mechanical engineering stuff and physics, I’m not really sure what else students in CSE do, but at least they have major bragging rights...even if they are suffering internally.
5. College of Design (CDes)
One of the most underrated colleges of all time is CDes. Although it's typically associated with comic books and nonexistent finals, CDes has the biggest visual impact on our lives today. The ads we see on media platforms, the menus we peruse in Coffman while grabbing lunch and the clothes we wear are all based on ideas and concepts from design majors. Society likes to ignore or give little credit to majors and jobs that don’t impact people in a scientific or education-related field because they aren’t seen as “life-changing" or "life-saving." I don’t know about you, but some of the best inspiration I get comes from the architecture I see or the animated films I watch when I’m down. Also, have you seen the big canvases that CDes majors have to lug around campus on a daily basis? They’re huge and are probably impossible to fit through the doors of the Campus Connector, prompting the question as to why CDes is based almost entirely on St. Paul campus.
6. College of Biological Sciences (CBS)
Not going to lie, I'm not really sure how different having a B.A in Biology is different from a B.S in Biology, but CBS students do not play around when it comes to their college. Most CBS majors are on a pre-med track to become our future doctors or aspire to be technicians, researchers, analysts and educators. This means that when you run into them and try to find a time to hang out, they always hit you with the “I wish! I’m just so busy,” even when they’re really just procrastinating in their dorm rooms. Now, I don’t know a lot about CBS majors (as I can never find any time to hang out with any), but I can tell you that they do have the coolest college shirts on the UMN campus. I mean, tie-dye? C’mon!
7. College of Liberal Arts (CLA)
Last but certainly not least is the College of Liberal Arts (also known as the "easy" college). After spending two semesters in CLA, I can tell you that it's definitely one of the most inclusive, if not the most inclusive, college on campus. Because CLA has so many different majors, you're more likely to have a stimulating conversation when you go to CLA events on campus. Now, while CLA majors probably have their eyes permanently rolled in the back of their heads from all the comments they get from CSOM and CSE majors, they know that their majors better prepare them for "the real deal," also known as life.
While I didn't hit all the colleges on the UMN campus, these are the ones you'll encounter most often during your time at the U. Though I can't speak for everyone, these are without a doubt the most dominant opinions heard around campus. The main takeaway here is that college kicks ass and we really shouldn't belittle someone's major or focus on what they're doing. We're all suffering, so shouldn't we be suffering together?