To the pre-med major who said my degree was useless,
You are living proof of the notion that first impressions aren't worth overanalyzing.
You were my best friend and the person who helped me transition into my freshman year of college. We met in a program for science majors, ironically enough. We were both struggling pre-med students who knew that biology 1 would be a struggle. You were the first person I met at school and we quickly formed a bond like no other.
We spent every day together, watching "Grey's Anatomy" and putting off studying.
We confided in each other over dinner about the hardships of college life, especially being a science major.
We were normal college freshmen, struggling to keep up with the coursework.
Flash forward a month and I'm miserable. I'm struggling with the newfound thought that pre-med might not be the right fit for me. I confided in you as I knew I could, but the conversation didn't last very long. I talked about how much I loathed my biology class and you reminded me that everyone hates biology, it wasn't just me.
But it was.
You didn't realize that while everyone was excited about what labs we would come to participate in over the semester, I was dreading them. You didn't realize that I couldn't pay attention in class, not because I was bored, but because the content of the class itself didn't call me like it did to you.
I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life and decided to drop my major, and you weren't there for me. You continued to be one of my best friends and kept me close, but our relationship was different. Now, when I complained about struggling with coursework, you reminded me that your life was 10-times more difficult as a pre-med major. You told me you couldn't hang out because of how much work you had to do, and then procrastinated all of that work, just like we used to together.
I finally found my passion in journalism and was excited to finally join in with the conversations about our future again, but the dynamic was ruined. You didn't congratulate me on finding what I was really good at. You didn't listen when I complained about the copious amount of coursework that came with my new major. Discussions of how we would change the world turned into discussions of how you would change the world, and how I would stand by and watch.
As time moved on and we entered our second semester as college students, you were more open about your opinion of liberal arts majors. You posted on Snapchat about the gun control debate and labeled everyone who participated in walkouts "dumbasses."
You posted publically on social media that my liberal arts degree wasn't going to get me shit in this world. I noticed, but I chose to stay silent. I told myself that you were only speaking in the heat of the moment and your words were fueled by anger, not an actual belief of your superiority.
We knew that we both held radically different political opinions, and often debated these opinions over Snapchat (as you would constantly post ridiculing memes about gun control activists). There were times where I found that you went too far in what you said, like the time where you told me that if YOU were to shoot up a school, you'd do it with the gun you were advocating for and that you'd willingly kill a person before giving up your guns.
Your words started to terrify me, but I continued to give you the benefit of the doubt and to stand by you.
A couple weeks later, I posted a picture on my Snapchat advocating for gun control and you reposted the image on your own, claiming that people like me are the reason our country is going to shit. I snapped and replied to you, asking you to back off. I also told you that I wasn't OK with your constant belittling of my college major and that I too have a right to my college education. This is how you replied:
There are so many things wrong with your response to me that I don't know where to begin.
1. You're studying to be a neurosurgeon.
I hate to tell you this bud, but neurosurgeons don't reattach severed limbs. You watch "Grey's Anatomy." Did you ever see Derek Shepherd reattach a limb?
2. You implied that all journalists push the "fake news" agenda.
Another fact I hate to break to you, but the people that are telling you about fake news are journalists themselves. I know for a fact that you don't watch the news and receive all of your information from social media (we've talked about it), but the "fake news" concept is used by journalists to attack other journalists.
You cite Fox News. Did you know that the people running Fox News have liberal arts degrees?
3. You claimed that the home of the free doesn't require a need for journalism.
You support the constitution and argue that we need to follow it to a T. Have you read the first amendment of the constitution, that gives American people the right to free speech and freedom of the press? This amendment conceived to support journalists and a free press. Without to right to report what the American people want to hear, our country would not truly be free. It is my constitutional right to inform the people, as it is your constitutional right to bear arms.
4. You're right, we do need doctors.
We need doctors that acknowledge their privilege and work with their patients, not claim that they're better than them. I come from a medical background, with both of my parents and a grandparent receiving medical degrees. My parents met in an operating room where my father himself performed life-saving surgery, just like you will. Medical blood is in my veins, and I have a family who could not be prouder of me for pursuing my dreams. My brother is in school for aerospace engineering and recognizes that our degrees hold the same value. I have never come across someone so blatantly ignorant as you, the pre-med prodigy who hasn't even finished his first year of college.
* * *
You told me a few hours later that I was only mad because biology was too hard for me, and that I had to change majors because I couldn't handle it. I have you blocked now so you'll probably never read this, but I could have succeeded in biology if I wanted to, and I was succeeding at the time I dropped my major. I received a B in my biology 1 class (above average if you were unaware), and was one of only 50% of the class that stayed enrolled throughout the semester. I had the smarts and I had the drive, but I lacked the passion. That is the ONLY difference between me and you. You love what you're learning and now I do too.
You told me that my degree was useless, and it ruined me. You constantly ridiculed me for wanting to pursue liberal arts, and are quite honestly the cockiest person I've ever met. You hope I fail to fulfill my passion.
You can get through med school and operate all you want, but you will never be a Derek Shepherd.
The bond between doctor and patient is an important one, and without the ability to form that bond you will fail in the medical profession. I hope that college humbles you and that one day you realize that we are equals, but I know it's a slim chance. I hope that you one day appreciate liberal arts majors as they change the world for the better, while you sit in your operating room.
I hope this message gets through to you.
a DAMN proud liberal arts major that WILL change the world someday