Human communication, verbal and non-verbal, is undeniably detrimental. Whether we consciously or unconsciously communicate, it is one of they keys to our survival and well-being as productive, civil beings. Our advertisements, articles, movies, music, paintings, drawings and photos are forms of communication that separate us from animals. Communication is an art that does not come easily in any romantic, friendly or professional relationship. So why do students who decide to study communication in college receive the reputation of being lazy or less intelligent? For some reason, people believe that comm majors don't work as hard or as much as other majors. As a communication major, I am here to shed light on some of the misconceptions I've have heard about us. Time to right the wrongs.
1. We are not all comfortable with public speaking.
I, for one, absolutely hate speaking in front of people. My knees get shaky, palms get sweaty, and mouth gets dry. Honestly, I cannot recall what I say during a speech because I just black out. Sure, I can do it when it is necessary, but I'd prefer to communicate in other forms.
2. There are different emphases and mediums.
The possibilities are endless. You emphasize it whichever way you are most fascinated with: health communication, business communication, organizational/ interpersonal communication, environmental communication, media communication, cultural communication and technological communication. Not only that, but there are different mediums of communication: oral, verbal, visual, mechanical and physical.
3. It is not pointless.
My goodness. I've heard "what's the point?" or a simple "oh.." with an eye roll almost every time I've told someone my major. We need communication, and as I pointed out before, it connects us to others and teaches us understanding. Fair warning: before you condescendingly question someone's major or life decision, make sure you are educated, because ignorance is really hard to communicate with.
4. We actually work very hard.
Classes are not just about public speaking or free-for-all discusses. We learn about communication theories, methods, how to argue, how to listen, how to mediate, how to persuade and how to inform. We have to write case files, speech outlines, persuasive essays, research papers, give speeches, give presentations and formally debate. As comm majors, we have to be educated on anything or everything in order to communication clearly, properly and effectively. Just like any other student in any other major, we put in the blood, sweat and tears to broaden our knowledge and follow our passion.
5. Yes, there are jobs for comm majors.
We can become a Journalist, Art Director, Marketing Manager, Public Relations or even a Producer; the list goes on and on. There is a wonderful abundance of opportunities for us comm majors. Even if it is not specifically a role with a typical form of communication, our degree is valuable. Communication is vital in every field of work. If you take any job, it can be applied in a number of different ways. Being a comm major makes us well-rounded people who know how to write, speak, research, argue and interact.
6. It's not for everyone and that's OK.
Communicating is difficult, regardless if it is your major or not. Majoring in comm is a general way to learn to communicate in a broad sense and is narrowed as you spend more time exploring the mediums and emphases. US majoring does not mean we are necessarily better communicators but we become knowledge on more ways to communicate in effect ways. Just like I can't do statistics or astronomy, some people can't do communication. That's perfectly fine. Just rather than judging one another on our majors, let's support one another and appreciate the similarities and differences.
But, I do have to say, communication majors rule.
I'm just a bit bias, though.