Just Say No: Major Shaming

You have all seen the memes and statuses. The ones where STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors gloat how their majors are the hardest and that every other major has no right to complain. I, a social work major, have heard it firsthand;

“You are wasting your intelligence. You should really go into (insert STEM major here)”

“I could have gotten a 4.0 too if I was in your major”

“Why are you stressed out? You are a social work major.”

“It must be nice to take easy classes”

These are just a handful of comments that I have gotten from family, friends, and classmates about my so called “soft” major. Other humanities majors have told me similar stories. I am here to say that we need to stop major shaming, once and for all.

All majors are important. Every single major is necessary to the world in some way. Without one, life would be different in some way. Without the STEM majors, a lot of the technological advancements we take for granted would not exist. There would be no penicillin, no iPhones, and no cars. Without the arts, we would not have beauty in the world. We would not have the books, movies, and videogames that we all love. Without the social sciences, we would not have people to look out for us, to keep our communities safe and our minds and bodies healthy. There would be no social workers, or police officers, or teachers, all of whom are vital to our world. Every single major is necessary in this world, and one claiming that it is better than the others spits on this fact.

All majors are difficult in their own way. I believe this is where the heart of this superiority comes from. STEM majors have a reputation for doing more work because the arts and humanities were considered electives in high school. Yet, at the college level, these classes are equally hard. Yes, STEM majors have a slot of work and spend countless hours in labs, learning concepts that are way over my head. But, what about the theatre, music, and dance majors who spend the majority of their day practicing endlessly? Or the English and History majors who are in the library surrounded by dozens of books, trying to find a new truth and prove it in the most beautiful way possible? Have you ever seen the dedication of an art major, who stays up all night perfecting a piece that is worth the majority of their grade? What about the social workers and teachers, who are exhausted from giving their hearts and souls to a more often than not thankless job? Each major is challenging in its own way and none has more work above the other.

Life is about following your passions, not about making money. I think the other reason that STEM majors have a high horse is the fact that they are (typically) better paid once they leave college than most other majors. As a social worker, I am not in this field for the money. I am in it because I am passionate about helping people. I feel that many of the other not STEM majors will say something similar; they are following their dreams, not the money. And I am sure that most STEM are in their fields because they love it (or at least I hope so!). Therefore, we should not judge people for following their passions and accept all majors as important.

Major shaming is a real issue on college campuses and it is just frankly wrong. It is not fair to make people feel bad for following their passions. We should encourage all different talents because they are all important and vital to the world. Major shaming needs to stop so that all people, no matter their major, can feel valid.

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