Your Major Is Not Pointless

Your Major Is Not Pointless

You just chose the road less traveled out of passion
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There is a certain "coming of age" question we start getting that no one warned us about. Once you begin your senior year of high school, all anyone wants to know about is what college you're going to and what you'll be studying.

People seem to value certain interests over others. We have been told from a young age to "follow our dreams" however, as someone "studying" English, people always give me that smile and say "Well, at least you're pursuing a passion." which sounds achingly familiar to the way good old southern women say "Well, bless her heart". Trust me, I get it. I know the implications of choosing such an unstable major, but come on. Liberal Arts are the ancient forms of education. Not trying to be cliche, but Galileo studied philosophy and look where he ended up... in your textbook.


For thousands of years, the seven liberal arts were the most prestigious areas of study but modern society looks down on them. These included music, logic, grammar, and language. The basic foundation for education and core of modern civilization lay within the areas of study that seem most unstable today. Even still, we incorporate the liberal arts into our education but seem futile in further examination because they don't "make money" and seem necessary to us. Where would we be without these men who considered thinking an art form?




English is considered the 7th most pointless major on dailybeast.com (although I bet that author feels a bit hypocritical since he is writing for a mediocre blog) which is fine, but why are we always putting the arts down? I think having a major that encompasses the things you care about is a practical way of ensuring success in your career. I'm not saying solely major in English, Art or Photography because I think you could use a second major as a catalyst for a job, but I am saying it is okay to do what you love. For example, if I was your doctor, I wouldn't know the flu from chicken pocks. If I was your civil engineer, I promise that your roads would be messed up. Then how are you going to get to your office job? Trust me, you want me in the corner reading my book.


Likewise, you don't want me painting a mural on your local brick wall. The last thing you want is an untrained person being paid to fling permanent paint on your neighborhood wall. I would love to walk down College Avenue and see more art. It is a vital part of our community's culture. Without people who are pushed to pursue art, we would see far less painting and far more vandalizing. When young bright minded individuals are given the right tools, they can turn something average into a phenomenal change in a community.


I listened to a TED talk (linked below) about urban art once and it changed my view of a lot of community. Passion is the way to educational success. If a kid who has nothing to love realizes he is a kid who loves music, then we should applaud that. What is the difference between another Pre-Med student and another Music Education student? On the surface, it might seem like one is smarter than the other, but I think it takes a lot of guts to realize you could make a bigger impact in the world by being a musician or painter than being a surgeon. I have a friend who loves Chemistry so much he decided to be a Chem major. That is amazing. But what about me? I love reading, but when I tell you I am majoring in English I get the sad soft smile. I can tell people my plans about double majoring and becoming an Editor/Publisher in NYC and wanting to work to promote inner-city childhood education and helping raise the literacy rates, but I honestly believe people are immediately turned off by the idea of my spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours reading. I wish people would listen to why I chose what I did. I think education is the way out of poverty. Educating the next generation needs to be a priority because through education we find passion. Kids need to be given the opportunity to branch out and learn everything there is to know in a fun and engaging way! With this, they would be more willing to continue an education in an area they actually care about instead of what is more socially expected.



Someone once asked me why I was passionate about English and I said, "As a reader, I become enchanted by experiencing other peoples thoughts. They transport me to their world instead of relying on my thoughts to create my own world. It gives me a moment to relax and live in something I do not have to create. When reading, I am given ideas that never occurred to me. As a writer, I am also taken to another world. The only difference is it is a world I have created. It is a parallel place to the one I live in, but it is not the same. Although it is from my mind, the characters still write their own story." I want others to be able to feel the way I feel about something. Whether it be art, English, chemistry, film, or basket weaving, at least there are people making steps to pursuing the things they love. So never look at someone with a liberal art major and wonder what they'll do with their lives. Be proud that they're willing to take those risky steps to being something more than who they are now. Be thankful there was someone in their life that guided them to be passionate and excited. Be hopeful that they will be successful. Be supportive of their decision. It is a scary decision, but it is one that has a great pay-off when they get finished writing their last 25-page paper about an ancient Viking story you never even knew existed.



Click "Listen to Full Show" to hear a TED Radio Hour about art (community center/urban art section included):



PHYSICAL LINK TO TED RADIO HOUR about art (community center/urban art section included):

https://www.npr.org/2013/04/19/174724704/what-is-b...


Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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