History Major Jobs

In Defense Of Majoring In History

"Haha — what do you want to do? Teach?"

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When I started my collegiate career three years ago, I began as a biomedical engineering major. I really had believed that I had wanted to do that when I started school. Engineers had great job security, good pay and the respect of many different majors on campus. However, in that fateful first semester of school, I dropped my original major and instead changed it to two new majors. In all honesty, there were two classes that made me really want to change my mind.

The first was chem lab. I don't want to talk about it. It was terrible and somehow my partner and I messed up every. Single. Lab.

Even though I passed the class, I still knew chemistry wasn't going to be the focus of what I did. The class that really made me want to drop was the intro class for engineering majors that basically shows them the outline for the rest of their lives. It showcased incredible projects done by students, what is happening outside of academia in the area and the future for what is to come. And I couldn't be more bored with it. This isn't the "ugh, this class is early and too long and I'm just tired" bored, this is the "I literally have NO interest in these topics at all" bored.

When I realized this, it was somewhat shocking. I had thought about changing majors before, but now it was an absolute certainty that I wanted to change my major.

After creating an entire PowerPoint in order to convince my parents that becoming a history major would not be a complete waste of their money, I made the switch to majoring in history and political science. I had always had an interest in politics, so I imagined that it would be a good double major.

Now, whenever I tell people I major in history and political science, the conversation goes two ways: "Oh, so I bet you know all about [insert current political event], what do you think about that?" or "Hah — so what, are you just going to be a teacher?" The answer to the first one is usually an eye roll because I live and breathe politics, and when I'm relaxing I would LOVE to have a minute to not discuss every political issue plaguing our country and find the solution for every single one. The answer to the second one is a resounding yes.

You might think that my major would only be useful at trivia night or to answer to obscure questions on "Jeopardy!", but when is the last time you read an 800 page history book and then used that information to analyze the parallel situations being created currently in life? Yeah, I didn't think so. I've debated with people on things that have to do with business from my background. I don't just study old dead dudes (although, yes, most of them are dead), I study political structures, the evolution of business, the evolution of culture in certain areas, the underlying reasons for why certain countries currently are acting the way they are, and to boot I've learned how to write outrageous amounts in a short period of time.

I'm not taking classes regarding the economic structure of businesses, but I've had to study the history of capitalism that highlights why we are in the position we are today. I've learned why the market has crashed multiple times before, and I've learned how that is being fixed, and I understand all of the terms used along with it. I also know not only the private sector side but the public sector as well.

"So if you're learning that stuff anyway, why don't you just study business?"

My dream is to work in archives and unearth truths that are present in the world that help better understand why the world operates the way it is. I want to be able to contain a worldview that encompasses the mysteries that many wonder about. That might seem "high and mighty" or like I think that I'm better than those who work in cubicles, but I don't think that. I think that I am not wired for a business 9-5 job. Some people are, and that's fantastic because it's what they want and love to do!

My job is probably going to have me take my work home with me and work long hours in various places, and that excites me. It can get lonely being a historian, I know that. As of right now, I am on a trip to Washington D.C. to do research in some of the archives here for my thesis, and I am all alone researching for the majority of the day.

One of the routes that I want to go through is earning a doctorate in modern Russian history, which sounds like a terrible idea to many people. I'll admit it, saying it to some people and receiving the look of pity is downright embarrassing sometimes. However, I get money to travel to places to learn more about the world. I can get money to learn a language. I can entertain my friends by performing my own kind of drunk history about random historical facts.

The job security for this kind of stuff is terrible, I know that, but my passion for this is what drives me despite the warnings that anyone gives me. It's what makes me happy. If I don't make it immediately in the world I want to join, then I have the skills necessary to get me a job in the "real world." If anyone reading this is thinking about switching majors to something with a less than stellar job market, make sure that you prepare yourself the best you can, and if you really do want it, then go for it.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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