An Arts Degree

“You’re an arts major?” *eyebrows raised to hairline. * An arts major’s monthly, if not weekly, response to their choice of education. Anyone taking History, English, Sociology, Classics, or Political Science etc. has at least once in their lifetime of being a university student experienced the “look”. We all know this look, subtle disapproving, being eyed like we are insane – as if our choice of major is not important. “Don’t you know people who take science degrees get paid better and find jobs faster? What can you even do with an arts degree without being a teacher?” First:  what’s wrong with being a teacher? Second, sorry our passions aren’t to your approval and lastly, we will succeed. WE WILL SUCCEED. The world needs arts majors just as much as they need science or math or business.

Saying that arts degrees are easy is some pretty serious BS. Would you find it easy to be writing multiple thousand words essays at once well having to do daily readings that take several hours? The familiarity with the text required can often mean that you need to do these readings more than once. Take history majors for example. They need to memorize dates, names, places and understand the relevance of the text. Living your life at the library constantly typing away is not unique to arts, however, it is essential for survival and not just for prosperity.

So, for all future arts students, don’t be shy! Broadcast your major, ignore those looks. Arts degrees may not be as popular, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t take you places, lead you to good jobs, jobs that you love and will support you. After all, whether the rest world knows it or not, arts majors are needed to keep this world turning just as much as other degrees.

If I would go back in time and give my pre-university self some advice about university schoolwork I sure would have a few things to say. Sadly, since we all know time machines have not been invented yet, ill settle for helping out future students (C.S. Lewis did regard the arts as “the best time machine we have”, just saying!).

To my first year friends: DO NOT LEAVE READINGS TO BEFORE BED! You will never ever absorb what they are saying, let alone finish them. Sometimes it happens, understandable, but my advice is to not make a routine out of it. While your friends may be swamped with labs and it appears that you have this free time out of class – this isn’t true. Designate time slots and treat them solely for “reading” time.  Secondly, don’t be afraid of the library. All of first year I avoided it at all costs thinking it was a scary place to be. Now it’s a place I go to be social, see my friends, while “doing work”. My last piece of advice would be to back up every important piece of writing you have on something like iCloud. Arts majors type a lot of essays and assignments over the course of a semester. Just this week my laptop got soaked thanks to my water bottle and I thought I had lost three assignments that I had done. It felt like the end of the word. So people, please back up your things.

All degrees were made equal. If you study what you love, that’s what matters!