To The Major-Shamers, Your Opinions Do Not Define Me

To The Major-Shamers, Your Opinions Do Not Define Me

A letter to the person who thinks that your degree defines who you are.

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I understand that it just came out of your mouth. It's a knee-jerk reaction. You probably do it all the time, without even realizing it. I smiled through it even though I should have fought back because, trust me, I get it all the time. You weren't the first, and you won't be the last.

You don't know that I've come to dread the question "What's your major?" because it is consistently followed by the question "What do you want to do with that?" It's a valid question. I wouldn't mind it if it wasn't dripping with accusation, the judgment practically pouring off of your tongue and out of your mouth. What hurts is that you don't mean it as a genuine question. Your burning curiosity to know me did not inspire you to interrogate me. No, what you really meant to say was, "That's a useless major and you're not going to do anything with it." Hasn't anyone ever told you to say what you mean? Honesty is the best policy, and it sure hurts a lot less.

You don't know that I love what I'm learning. I feel so comfortable when I'm reading and analyzing others' works or writing something myself. I grew up reading at every chance I could: in my bedroom, in the car, in waiting rooms, in front of a TV, etc. I learned to love reading and to appreciate the minds that thought up each imaginative world I read about. When I grew up, I learned to appreciate those who wrote articles and editorials, because they made the real world seem just as beautiful as the fictional ones. Most importantly, I learned the power of words and the double meanings that can come with them, which is exactly why I know what you were actually trying to say and was so hurt by a simple question.

You don't know that I've cried over people like you. I'm already insecure about a lot of things but being subconsciously trained to be insecure about something that I love is completely ridiculous. Reactions from people like you have made me wonder if future employers will look at me like the same way you did when they browse my resume. I've thought so much in the past nine months about changing my major to literally anything else. I thought that maybe I actually wanted to be a teacher, or that eventually, I would learn to love economics. It took me a while to feel comfortable with my own passions, strengths, and decisions, and even longer to realize that no one should feel ashamed about the things they love or feel the need to change themselves to fit others' ideals.

You don't know that I have a full-fledged plan for my future. I know what I want to do, where I want to go, and how I'm going to get there. I know that I want to help people gain a voice, stay informed, and learn to love themselves. I know that I do not want to spend every second of my adult life sitting at a desk in front of a computer until I become an office decoration. And it would be completely fine if I didn't know, because there are plenty of people who don't. Eventually, they will find their place, just like I will. Maybe I won't end up where I thought I would. Only time will tell. I do know one certainty about my future, though. There will be no room for people like you in it.

You don't know that the world doesn't care that you are business or pre-med or whatever major made you think that you have more prestige than another college student. Sure, the job you want might require your major. And I would be just as low as you are if I said that your major wasn't honorable, because it is. I truly believe that. I also believe that any education and job someone pursues with a passion should be accepted and appreciated. The world is in need of so many different types of jobs. There can only be so many accountants.

I'm sorry you weren't taught the same universal kindness that I was. I'm sorry that you judge the value of an individual based off of how much money they are projected to make in the future. I'm sorry you don't see everyone as equals to one another. I hope, for your sake, you will learn the error of your ways eventually. Be glad you insulted me, and not someone else, because I have thicker skin than a lot of other people. At a young age, I learned that what others say about or to me do not define me. You weren't the first, and you won't be the last. I've grown stronger. You can't hurt me anymore.

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

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We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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I'm A Girl In Engineering And It's Not As Easy As It Looks

It's not always easy being the only girl in the room.

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Coming into college, I knew I wanted to major in engineering, and I was well aware that I would be in the minority because I am a girl. I always thought that I would be ready and prepared for this, but after being in college for a few weeks, I started to feel a little weird.

I noticed that I was one of the only girls in my lecture classes and it was rare if any of us ever decided to speak up in class or ask questions. Seeing as I am very introverted, I also struggled to make friends in classes where people didn't just take the initiative and talk to me. My classes seemed quiet and seemingly being the only girl in the room as intimidating.

Luckily, I did find friends within my major and I have been able to get to know them and study with them. We are always able to run to each other for help if we need to, and we always go to each other for group projects.

So, it's not always bad being the only girl in the room, just know that it will be weird. You will have to work extra hard to make friends, but you will be ok. Talk to the person sitting next to you, make friends. It will be awkward, but in the end, it'll all be ok.

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