Please Stop Shoving STEM Majors Down My Throat

Please Stop Shoving STEM Majors Down My Throat

I'm not into machines, equations, or formulas. I'm into books about people and how they work deep down in their souls.
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If you went to public school anytime in the last 15 years, you probably had STEM pushed at you a million times. Public schools particularly have been promoting these programs heavily, trying to get children to go into math and science fields. I don't have a problem with this. I think that we need doctors and engineers and mathematicians and all of that other stuff. I think all of you who are into STEM are great, and this is nothing personal.

Here's my problem: when STEM was pushed at me, it was done in such a way that it ridiculed the humanities.

I'm a double major in English and History. I like to hang out with stuff written by dead people. I like books. I like old documents. I like looking at people and how they act. I like knowing how a book would impact its original readership. I'm not into machines, equations, or formulas — I'm into people and how they work deep down in their souls. I can't do math to save my life. I've never enjoyed my science classes. That's who I am. I'm not going to change that.

But there were times when I felt ridiculous for wanting to study these things more. Even as far back as middle school when I leaned toward the humanities, I was being told that I would never find a job or make money.

I've been told by some people that I'll probably be a waitress for my entire life because there's no way I can ever get a job that'll pay enough to support me. I've had family members tell me that I should switch majors and be pre-med or a business major, that I can go to grad school and get an English degree once I have a solid background in something that I can actually use.

Now, those people (for the most part) were speaking to me in concern and love, but here's the issue: why should they feel like they need to? Why is it that we have this huge stigma surrounding the humanities that if you study them you'll never get a job? Seriously, what is the deal?

It's time for people, schools, and the entire world, quite frankly, to stop hating on the humanities and pushing STEM and instead just supporting both. Let kids and college students and whoever pursue whatever interests them. Let them follow their passions like people always tell them to (usually without really meaning it).

It's time to stop pushing STEM and instead start pushing people to find what they really love and are good at. Once they do that, it's time to start pushing them to work hard at it so that they can get better at it. It's time to stop trying to convince people that they need to change a fundamental part of who they are in order to get a paycheck.

The world goes around because of balance and difference. Humanities people, we need the STEM people to keep us going just like they need us to keep them going. We need each other. So let's support that instead of trying to get people to change.

Cover Image Credit: Lily Snodgrass

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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No, A Colored Student Did Not 'Steal Your Spot,' They Worked Hard To Get Here

I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

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Real talk, this whole "they're stealing our resources!" thing has to stop.

It ranges from welfare to acceptance letters into prestigious universities. People (and by people, I'm referring to those who identify as white) have made the assumption that they are having their opportunities stolen by people of color. That's ridiculous.

I love my university. I love the people at my university. However, when I sit in a classroom and look around at my colleagues, the majority of them are white. Of course, there are some classes that are filled with more people of color, but for the most part, they're predominantly white. So, let's say that out of a classroom of 30 students, only 7 identify as people of color.

In what world can somebody make the argument that those 7 students are stealing the spot of a white student? I don't think people realize how hard those 7 students had to work just to be in the same spot as their white counterparts.

Let me use my experience: I am a Latina woman who is attending university on a full-ride scholarship. I don't always tell people about this, because I don't feel like being asked, "wow, what did you do to get that?!" A lot. I keep hearing this ignorant question of, "How come illegal immigrants can get scholarships, but I can't?"

First off, those "illegal immigrants" you're bashing, don't even qualify for financial aid. They don't qualify for most scholarships, actually. Second, have you considered that maybe, that "illegal immigrant" worked hard in and outside of school to earn their scholarship? I received my full-ride scholarship on the basis of my GPA, but also because I am a lower-class woman of color and was selected because I am disproportionately affected by poverty and access to a quality education.

So, this scholarship was literally created because there is an understanding that minorities don't have the same access to education as our white counterparts. It's not a handout though, I had to work hard to get the money that I have now. When white students get scholarships, it's not a handout but when you're Latina like me, apparently it is.

This way of viewing minorities and their education is damaging, and further discourages these people from receiving a quality education. We didn't steal anybody's spot, we had to work to get where we are, twice as hard as our white colleagues that are not discriminated against on a daily basis.

Instead of tearing down students of color because you didn't get a scholarship, why not criticize the American education system instead? It's not our fault tuition is $40k a year, and we have no reason to apologize for existing in a space that is predominantly white.

To students of color: you worked hard to get where you are, and I am proud of you. To white students: I'm proud of you too. We all worked hard to get to where we are now, let's lift each other up, not put each other down.

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