A Rant On Humanities Majors

A Rant On Humanities Majors

"Oh...so what are you going to do with that?" Whatever I want, thank you very much.

Anyone who majors in a science: I have a lot of respect for you. Honestly. Good for you. I was into all of that physics-y, math-y stuff when I was in middle school, but that ship has long since sailed and I honestly think the world is the better for it (just imagine me as a pharmacist and I'll applaud the mental elasticity you must possess to make that stretch). I'm a humanities/liberal arts person. I love history and philosophy and literature and language and I'm proud of that. I'm studying what I like and I'm happy. That's right, I'm happy. And you know what? I'm going to find a job when I graduate. Yes, I'm making a declaration: I will be employed. I will find a job. And I'll go a step further: I'll find a job because I decided to major in a humanities (okay, little too far, but you get the point).

I'll soon be finalizing the decision that's scared me since I was, like, 12: I'm declaring a major, and I'm sticking to it (*cue applause*). I'm so confident, I'm planning on declaring two by next year at this time. And neither of them have anything to do with business or science (*cue funeral dirge*). I'm ignoring almost every piece of advice I've received. Every statistic and survey I read tells me I'm being stupid. The most "employable" majors are engineering/computer/business-focused and I'm over here signing up for history classes and French lectures. But I refuse to think I'm signing myself up for failure. Why? I'm studying what I love.

Chances are, I'm going to be unemployed at some point in my life. Life is hard, but that doesn't mean you necessarily need to be miserable about it. I'd rather be working some low-paying job I love after four years of studying a field I love even more than spend the next four years hating my coursework only to graduate and realize I hate the real-world application even more. I'll be making money, but I tend to think misery is a bit too high a price to pay for a substantial income, don't you think?

Some people genuinely love science. Some were born destined to run corporations or be physical therapists. But don't judge me because I'm not one of them. Some people just clicked with chemistry or biology or economics or insert-"respectable"-major-here. I did not. And just because myself and millions of other students didn't, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with us. My advisor just told me that my major is ideal for business school and that liberal arts students tend to kill it on graduate school exams. Why? We read. Like, a lot. And most of the books are as scintillating as watching paint dry or The View (they aren't if you didn't get it). We also tend to have to write papers that require copious amounts of coffee and at least one thesaurus to get through. I'm not sure how, but these "skils" we develop prepare us for success in any field we choose (if you want to disagree, I'll redirect you to the CAS Advising Center).

So I'm majoring in international studies. She's majoring in sociology. He's majoring in English. We don't need your pity, because, well...we just don't. No one forced us to major in these so-called "useless" fields. Show me an unemployed English major and I'll point out any number of people who majored in what society deems to be "employable" struggling to find a job. Because at the end of the day, if the economy is horrible, the economy is horrible, and it doesn't discriminate against your college major. So stop throwing statistics in my face and I can get back to doing the PowerPoint I should have finished instead of writing this article.

Cover Image Credit: Why To Read

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Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

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Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

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Host families will get you closer to language, culture, food and fun!


Have you ever thought about going abroad? Or maybe you've already decided to go and are dealing with all the paperwork right now? There are so many options to explore a different culture and various perspectives on life. You can go abroad and study at a foreign university. If you're not interested in studying, you can apply for a job and gain first working experience abroad. Also, you can do an internship in a different country, or work as a volunteer in a help organization. So many options. But they have one thing in common: A host family.

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