My school prides itself on being a liberal arts Academy, a community that is all-inclusive and welcoming to all students, regardless of their field of interest. The school does its best, and I have nothing but respect for the environment it encourages.
However, this does not change the fact that some students see their major as an excuse to belittle their peers.
The academic hierarchy at my school consists of two types of students: Occupational Therapy majors and Nursing majors. This is not to say that every one of these students is a pious know-it-all. Don't get me wrong, I am friends with many people who major in one or both of these studies, and I would hate to make them feel like I am classifying them negatively. Still, for the sake of this article, I am going to be focusing on a specific type of students that major in these fields. My intention is not to offend, but to educate.
I am one of the commoners when it comes to academics at my school. When people ask what I am studying, I always try to be careful about how I word my response. I always get scared that, if I don't answer just right, I will come off as uneducated. For example: If I begin my response with "I'm a double major -" people are generally impressed. Then, inevitably, I have to follow the statement with "- in Communication and English." That's when the mood changes. Brows furrow, noses turn up, smiles waver just the slightest bit.
The overwhelming response I always get:
That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. After hearing my answer, non-students shrug and simply change the subject or ask one more general, uninvolved question.
This is why the stereotypical, self-righteous, more top-tier upstanding citizens at my school come into play.
To my face, the normal reaction. Nothing out of the ordinary. Behind my back, the gossip begins."
Easy way out.
Just not smart enough to do anything else.
We do much more work.
She doesn't even have to try.
Anyone can do that; she's nothing special.
My fellow students and I in the "bottomfeeder" fields of study deemed unworthy of the academically gifted students whispering behind our backs hear it all. And let me tell you right now: we don't appreciate it in the slightest.
Studying a specific field does not make you more valuable than the rest of us. While those of you in Nursing practice your craft in clinical classes, Education majors are trying their hand at child care, and English majors are writing tens of pages analyzing Shakespearean literature. We all work hard, and we are all working towards the same goal: helping society in the most effective way we can. Not everyone is right for Nursing or OT, just as you may not be suited for a career in Secondary Education or Public Relations. And that is perfectly okay.
Each field of study is difficult in its own way.
When I hear a Nursing or OT student say, "They're just lying around while we're saving lives," my blood boils.
Yes, you are saving lives, and I am eternally grateful to you.
Still, you are so quick to undermine my major when you have no idea what it entails.
For me, personally, the English language is my first love. A sequence of words, if constructed correctly, can affect a person's mood, mental state, and even his or her life. And yes, the power of words has even saved lives (most often from the grip of mental illness or grief).
So how do you think I feel when you say you are the only ones making a difference?
My point: don't look down on us little guys. We still have a lot left to show you.