I’ve written before for Odyssey about how I’m a triple-majoring Humanities student and how I’ve got just about all the Humanities subjects covered. What I may not have mentioned is how little experience I have with other sorts of classes: Business, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Health Sciences. I took Accounting I through dual-enrollment in high school, got Chem I covered via a 3 on the AP Chem exam, and aced Intro to Physical Oceanography and Earth & People at UPJ. Other than that, my only knowledge of other classes is from what I’ve been told and from what is written in course descriptions. When it comes to majors outside of the Humanities, while I might know a decent bit about what classes students are taking (because I love looking at curriculum sheets), I’m nearly blind to the actual experiences of Bio, Information Systems, Electrical Engineering, and many other kinds of students.
Not knowing can be a little bit nerve-racking. Is my GPA unimpressive because I’ve stuck to the Humanities? Could I have handled upper-level Chem classes had I chosen to pursue Chemistry or one of the other sciences for my undergrad? You may be able to think through your skill set, manufacture some sense of how well they might do on the exams, but ultimately, you’re left in the dark. As for the amount of effort inherent in each class? Also very tough to predict. A course might be fairly “easy” while still requiring a lot of time and/or energy.
For me, an undergraduate degree should boil down to a list of skills and experiences that enable one to succeed in their subsequent educational and career paths. Squabbling over whose classes are the hardest or easiest or lamest or whatever is generally a waste of breath for students. Administrators and employers may wish to look at this information for myriad reasons, but for the college majors themselves, I suggest they simply get their degree in hand and keep moving forward.
Maybe your classes aren't as rigorous as someone else's. So what? If you put enough effort into your classes, you can still be helpful to those around you. If you're in a really tough major, you're probably relying on people from other fields to help you get the job done, so it doesn't help you much at all to put those sorts of people down. We're all in this together, whether we wish to admit it or not.
The world needs a wide variety of majors in order to function as efficiently as possible. Luckily, the people of the world possess an equally-wide variety of skills, and their experiences leading up to college play a strong role as well. All a student can do is to find what major or majors and/or minors fit best for them and work as hard and as smart as they can to develop into the sort of person who can aid this planet Earth the most.