History Major Jobs

In Defense Of Majoring In History

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


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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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries


It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner


With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram


Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate


The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity


If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in


If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one


Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities


Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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