COLUMN: Fellow students shouldn’t discredit their peers’ majors


Members of IU-Bloomington's graduating class of 2018 pose for a picture May 5, 2018, before the start of the undergraduate commencement at Memorial Stadium. Matt Begala

If you’re in an unconventional major, which could be anything from theater and drama to history, you’ve probably gotten those disapproving looks from your family members when you tell them what you’re studying at Thanksgiving dinner each year.

You’ve gotten the “What kind of job can you get with that?” and the “Do they make good money?” questions.

What’s worse than getting these questions from family members? Receiving those same types of comments from fellow students. Maybe they usually aren’t as direct as that, but with IU having many options to study a wide variety of topics from chemistry all the way to gender studies, I see it happen time after time.

It could be anywhere from someone always trying to one-up you with their problems, saying how much more difficult their assignment is than yours or how much more time-consuming the assignment they’re working on is.

It often could also be generalizing a whole school at IU, saying that the students in those schools take blow-off classes and are just trying to get a diploma. In reality, a majority of the people in those classes are passionate about their life plans and the classes they sit in everyday.

One thing you will learn while being at IU is that everywhere you look there are passionate kids. However, something I've noticed is that the students who don't receive the kind of support and enthusiasm at home from their family members need it from the people on this campus.

There is no right or wrong area of study, and the uniqueness of our options here is what makes going to IU such a rewarding experience. You can be sitting on the bus in between two people with completely different interests, but they're both able to pursue them at the same university.

While I most definitely won’t discredit students who are in very challenging courses in the Kelley School of Business or are going down a premed track, I most definitely don’t feel bad for the amount of work they have to do or the difficult classes they must take. They chose that path, just like liberal arts majors chose theirs.

However, I will listen to them complain about their lab assignment all the same. People just want their worries and annoyances to be heard, and every student deserves to have that with his or her peers. Complaining about it won’t change anything, but you can’t deny that sometimes, if even for a moment, it makes you feel better.

We all know K201: The Computer in Business is hard and so is organic chemistry, hence why many people decide not to go down those paths.

People who choose to study media deal with issues far different than those in a premed track, and while a biology class may be difficult in a way that a media class isn’t, a media class is difficult in a way that a biology class isn’t.

The way I see it is not everyone can be a STEM or business major. That’s just not how it works. On the opposite end of the spectrum, not everyone can be an education or an English major. Each major, area of study and occupation will contribute to society in different ways, and there is money in anything if you look hard enough.

Something that may be difficult for someone else may not be difficult for you and vice versa. This is important to keep in mind when you throw around phrases like “That’s so easy.”

We should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. It’s true what they say: Your peers of today could very well end up being your colleagues of tomorrow.

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