College is a place where we all should feel supported in our respective learning endeavors. No matter what a student’s major is, they are working just as hard as the next person, and the field of study does not determine the success that will follow.
Major shaming, however, is a reality here and at other schools; it is when students discourage each other because of a perceived stigma associated with certain majors.
One person studying chemistry might say a child development major has it easy, but if they walked a day in a teacher’s or counselor’s shoes, they would see that it only looks easy from the outside because that’s what interdisciplinary majors are good at. The chemistry major may have to tackle math and science, but the child development major has to juggle psychology, behavior, sociology and education. If you think your major is so much harder than someone else’s maybe you chose the wrong field of study. We should want to do well and praise other for doing so instead of assuming that their classes are a cake walk. It might be against the norm to be a creative writing or anthropology major, but not everyone can be a doctor or lawyer. People with creative goals would likely struggle in the medical world and a law student would have trouble stepping out of the logical box into a creative one. We all have different strengths that contribute to the world, and just because healing may come from a notebook page instead of a test tube, does not make it less valid.
People think that you need to have a heavy, difficult workload to be considered being in a substantial field of study, and that the career options will be limited once they graduate. Everyone has different strengths academically. No major should be considered an easy way out if college is designed to challenge and teach you. If communications, which many people say is an easy major, is a useless field, then how are there so many available jobs for those fresh out of college? Many believe that majors like pre-med or engineering guarantee more careers, but in reality, it just makes the job seem more prestigious.
Why do college students seem to compete to be the most miserable? How busy you are, how much work and how many titles you have are the criteria for the young adult popularity contest. Many students do choose to study communications when they are not sure about their career paths, but it being a common default major does not mean that indecisive students or those who know they want to go into that field have a weak work ethic.
When asking about someone’s major, it is best to ask what they want to do with their degree instead of assuming the possibilities are limited. Let’s build each other up in our respective areas of expertise instead of demeaning things we do not understand.