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What Not To Say To a Liberal Arts Major

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After spending four years at my undergraduate university, and now finishing up my two years in graduate school, I’ve had my fair share of dialogue when it comes to the liberal arts and my major of choosing. Sometimes I come across people who are totally amazed and thrilled with my major and ask a billion questions on what my classes have been like, and then I’ve had the “other” people who should probably learn to keep their traps shut.

Here is what not to say to a liberal arts major:

When we tell you what our major is, don’t respond with an “Oh…” and then an awkward head nod. At this point, I know the person is trying to wrap their brains around the fact that Art History and Creative Writing are indeed, majors. Or that people actually major in Philosophy. It’s just a little rude, ya know?

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“What the hell are you going to do with that?” — this reminds me when attending job interviews and they ask you, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The only problem with this situation is we are not entitled to lie and pretend like we know what we are doing. Even if you majored in business or engineering doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. I’m 24…how the hell am I supposed to know what I’m going to do with it? I’m hoping I stumble into something great and call it a day.

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“Oh, creative writing, huh? So you want to write books and be an author?” — gee, if only it were that easy. Oh wait, there is E.L. James, so maybe it really is that easy. In that case, I made the right choice.

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“Oh that’s nice. That’s a good hobby to have.” — Effing’scuse me? Why would I pay X amount of dollars for two college degrees if I consider them my hobbies? That’s a little insane. Walking is another hobby of mine. Where can I get that degree?

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“So I’m guessing you want to be a teacher?” — As if that is the only career path liberal arts majors have. Some of us would love to teach because it’s fun and we can be surrounded by the very things we love. Others can become lawyers, editors, curators, sculptors, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with teaching, but please remember that we are capable of other things too.

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“Liberal Arts is so easy! You’re so lucky. I bet college was a breeze.” — Mm, yes. Writing 20 page papers every semester on one damn painting, and memorizing 50 different paintings with the year, artist, medium, length and width, and what it symbolizes for a test each week was ABSOLUTELY easy. Ya caught me.

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“How come your facilities are so outdated?” — Well, it’s pretty simple actually. Unless you go to an art school, many colleges do not have liberal arts at the top of their list of priorities. It’s just like when you’re renting an apartment. That lonely, grumpy smelly guy downstairs in apartment A never pays his rent on time. However, the thirty, flirty, and thriving girl in apartment B always pays her rent on time. When both of their sinks poop out on them, who do you think the landlord is going to help first? You’ve got it! The girl in apartment B! Since liberal arts majors are less likely to donate to their wonderful school later in life, in the end, the school may not think it’s worth it to spend however many dollars to upgrade the facilities. You rub their back and they’ll rub yours.

We may not become millionaires but it doesn’t mean we are not smart, productive, and driven people. We find our ways to be successful, and of course, everyone has a different definition of the word.

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9 thoughts on “What Not To Say To a Liberal Arts Major

  1. I would not be the person I am today without the values that my liberal arts degree instilled within me. My history and English majors taught me to think for myself and question the world around me relentlessly. I may never analyze another poem in my life, but I can think and write effectively and formulate my own opinions and ideas without the help of others. I would not be heading to Thailand in September to teach English without the curiosity for the world and acceptance of other ways of living that my liberal arts degree instilled in me.
    The liberal arts is not for everyone, but it was a perfect education for me and quite frankly, I’m not sure where I’d be with out it. Haha, the Humanities Building at my University was the crappiest building on campus. You know, all those English and French majors bringing in the big bucks. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more! I loved all of my liberal arts courses in school and I agree, it’s definitely not for everyone! It definitely has a different approach to teaching that not everyone is comfortable with but I learned so much. I’ve had a lot of great experiences because of it too. And my art department building didn’t even have an elevator!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I got a degree in Business Management and it hasn’t got me anything. Sometimes I wish I would have taken Creative Writing because then I would be so much better at writing and better equipped to write. I think with most majors that aren’t very specific you always get questions like that.

    Liked by 1 person

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