The Practical Value Of A Humanities Degree

The Practical Value Of A Humanities Degree

A concept that has at times seemed like an oxymoron.
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A creeping concern that I have had throughout my college education has been of the practical usefulness of my degree. I suppose that this is an issue that haunts any humanities major, living as we do in a society that appears to value tangible products and profit above the kinds of focuses that often dominate a class in the humanities.

And I absolutely can see the value in studying texts from the past and gleaning the lessons they offer, but sometimes I have found myself thinking, how can this be transferred to solve the problems of our modern world?

Sure, these texts may offer lessons about humanity and they may be presented in beautiful, intricate, complex language, but how does that help in a world that is riddled with a plethora of issues that can at times seem overwhelming and impossible to combat?

Where does, say, Shakespeare fit in when it feels like we are left helplessly and ironically hoping that corporations will step up to defend reduction of protected lands from the greed of others?

Well, I think part of the solution is to not become overwhelmed by what can seem to be an overwhelming imbalance of power and to remember that perspective is important.

And inspiration may be found through literature and the words of its makers—one of my recent favorites, for example, comes from Ursula Le Guin, who in her speech at the National Book Awards, reminds her audience that

“We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.”

I am an English major, and during my final semester I decided to take a political science class. This class centered around reading novels which featured utopias and dystopias, and I realized the truth of Le Guin’s words through this class.

These novels (and I think science fiction specifically is a good medium for this) offered alternative realities, and I don’t mean dragons and time travel. They offered alternate societies that operated on different fundamental philosophies.

It is easy to consider the system we live in as having inescapable amounts of power, especially when we have not experienced much of an alternative. Novels of utopias and dystopias and alternatively structured societies offers a space for us to consider alternatives, to see that change is possible.

And thought certainly drives meaningful action.

But it was through this political science class that the bridge between literature and our modern world was made clear to me. Because the theories we think about in that class, about what an ideal world would look like, or an infinitely horrible one, are ones that we were constantly encouraged to think about in tandem with the world we are living in now.

There is something that happens though, when you really think on issues that are pertinent to this world, and when you’re painfully aware of all the ways in which our current world is more dystopian than utopian.

It gets to be so that you realize that you can’t just sit back and hope that someone else will fix things. You have to make the effort in any way that becomes available to you.

It may not always be fruitful, but often it seems that fear of one’s effort not bearing fruit can ensure that one never tries in the first place, which absolutely guarantees that no change will be affected.

The systems we have in place seem rather broken, and frustrating, and entrenched. All this means is that we need to think outside the box and that we need to make active effort to fix these problems. Humans created the systems we live in, and they can modify them, too.

Of course, you need to know what you are working for in the first place, and that is where one of the many values of literature can come in.

As for me, I graduate this semester, and rather than that meaning I am finished with my education, I plan to immerse myself in all the political theory I can get my hands on, because its useless to complain about how things are if a productive solution or alternative is not offered.

In any case, I am going to go and continue to immerse myself in literature with the hopes of taking that knowledge and applying it to my immediate world, and I encourage you to do the same.

Cover Image Credit: traveler1219 on Deviantart

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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If College Majors Were Plucked Out Of A Crayola Crayon Box

College is a colorful place.

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In college, individually, we are practically all the yellow crayon.

It's the brightest of the box, vibrant and the epitome of sunshine... Until it's four years later and you lack the will to go on, thanks to your caffeine-induced all-nighters, novel-long writing assignments, and booze therapy. Eventually, every yellow crayon gets a little bit of the other colors on it, leaving its original, striking shine a little dull.

However, the majors that cause the yellow to change are colors of their own. They make us feel as if there's a light at the end of this tunnel of torture.

1. Maroon: Advertising/Marketing

A determined and ambitious red, but still cool, calm, and collected. Advertisers and marketers are determined to push their campaigns, appeal to the wants and needs of their target audience, and create enjoyable content to maintain customer loyalty. In a high-pressure environment like this, it's important to keep your head up and not to panic. Even when it all hits the fan, you have to stand your ground and not freak out.

2. Indigo: Engineering

Engineers appear to be confident Ravenclaws on the outside, but they're drowning on the inside (hence the blue). Their workload requires tough math classes, science, physics, and many more. And they have to be good at all of those! If you walk around on the engineering part of campus, you'll hardly ever see a smiling face. All are expressions of stress and fear. It's a lot of work, but engineers will eventually make it out alive. I promise!

3. Green: Journalism

Journalists are always after the news and the big scoop. Green is typically associated with new beginnings and growth. Journalism is constantly expanding in some way. While many people think that it is a dying field, it is actually morphing into a purely digital medium. Don't underestimate your print and broadcast journalists, because they'll be way better off than you could imagine. They're good at adapting and conquering obstacles, true to their major.

4. Pink: Nursing

There is no better color to represent kindness and helpfulness than pink. Nurses are compassionate and seek to help anyone who steps through the door. However, while nurses have to be kind, it is not a job for the faint of heart. You will see many unpleasant things as a nurse and you have to be prepared for it. You have to know that you want to help people, no matter the circumstance. Pink is one of those colors confused with weakness, but that could not be further from the truth. Never underestimate the power of pink and never underestimate the strength of nurses.

5. Orange: Education

Orange is bright and warm, as most teachers are. They hold the knowledge to teach future generations and practically raise kids while their parents are at work. They are miracle workers that have a lot to deal with on a daily basis. They have to mediate between kids, teach them to uphold the morals taught by their parents, and even teach them better than their parents ever could. People don't give teachers enough credit and they deserve more money than they get.

6. Grey: Business

All business, a serious grey is meant for the business and economics majors. Grey isn't necessarily bland or boring. Grey has a boss-like demeanor. It's persuasive and can own a room. This is why it's perfect to describe business majors. These people learn the ins and outs of sales, buying, stocks, etc. These people are so money smart that it's insane. Also, it helps that suits come in grey.

7. Violet: Psychology and Criminology

Psychology and criminology majors can analyze every little reason you do the things you do or why you are the way you are. They are far superior at understanding the human brain and the behavior patterns. Violet fits the bill when it comes to these majors, given that they are a breed of their own. They are mysterious, much like the color purple, and can solve the mysteries of humankind.

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