A fact that no high school graduate can deny is that stereotyping exists within the confines of the student body. There are jocks, band geeks, preps, loners, etc. in both smaller and larger high school settings. It may not be as blatantly obvious as Janice showing Cady all the cliques sitting in the cafeteria together in the movie "Mean Girls," but the similarities present within is what made that particular scene amusing to a broad audience. When you witnessed that cliques actually do exist, it tended to be a rough four years.
What people fail to recognize is that stereotyping can follow you to college, only it is a tad bit different -- it shows itself through the major that you choose to pursue. For example, if you are a science major, the question you are often asked after "what is your major?" will usually be "you want to become a doctor, right?" There are a number of professions besides becoming a doctor that one can follow with a degree in science. Assuming that a person who is a science major will automatically want to become a doctor is inconsiderate and annoying to those who wish to seek a different path in the world of science. Although students who picked the same major have to take the same required classes, they can branch out and go a different direction than the next student. When a person stereotypes majors like that, they make the assumption that there is only one available option to choose with a certain degree.
The beauty of choosing a career is that a person actually has the option to take the road less taken. A criminal justice major does not have to become a police officer if they do not desire to do so. They could specialize in forensics, or become a criminal investigator. They could continue their education and go to law school, or work as a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Agent, like Hank Schrader from "Breaking Bad." An English major, such as myself, can go anywhere with an English degree besides teaching. If all goes well, I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a master's degree in Library Sciences. You can just about do anything with an English degree -- people do not take this into consideration, and it can get tedious to constantly deny that I want to be an English teacher.
Even the mean stereotypes about majors can (no pun intended) majorly hinder a college student. "What are you going to do with an art degree?" or, "You can't get a serious paying job with that kind of education," can be really offensive to a student with any kind of major. Art majors are not the only type of majors that suffer from this harassment either. Recently, I was scolded for mentioning that I wanted to be a librarian because it "wasn't a job where I could get paid more than $100,000 annually." I am aware that a librarian does not get paid as much as a doctor does, but it is something I really intend to pursue. J.K. Rowling was told not to be an author for a living, and yet here she is today, one of the only authors to become a billionaire, just by doing what she loved the most. The possibilities of someone's future are ambiguous and endless; college students know the pros and cons of taking up a certain major, so it does not do anyone any justice to educate them on matters they already fully understand.
Just because you happen to be a psychology major does not mean that you are obligated to become a therapist. And just because you chose a major that does have the same salary as the next does not mean you shouldn't pursue it. I cannot stress this enough to all existing majors. It can possibly restrain someone from doing what they love and are good at. Labeling college majors like that closes off the opportunities for them to explore the professional world. Instead of asking a college student if they are going to be a specific occupation, try asking them "what would you like to do with that degree?" Don't discourage them from pursuing a certain major as well just because the possible occupations the student could take up are not as handsomely paid as others. It leaves their desired future in their own hands, where it should always stay, and leads to a more pleasant conversation at the dinner table.