Op-Ed: Dump the hierarchy, all students are valid
People may not want to address the fact that there is a hierarchy in college, but as students, we feel it. Whether it is through being put under a hot light by very curious, seemingly more successful people or conversations that come attached with the question “What’s your major?” Or even just plain intimidation that we feel as young adults because, being undecided, in a general program or pursuing liberal arts seems to be highly ridiculed.
Then there is the small remarks that make certain degrees seem like a waste of money. All of a sudden you feel like a fish out of water because you had a plan, but someone steamrolled it, and now you aren’t sure how to talk yourself into chasing your dreams again. Or maybe you feel like your plan was perfect and now you feel as if nothing is worth it anymore and you might change your major because someone made the right remark to make you feel like your aspirations are minuscule.
The most honest statement that I can come up with for this topic is this: No majors are better than others. Yes, I said it. As a Biology student and someone who also happens to be ridiculously involved in liberal arts in my free time, there is no need to pick one or the other. Why? Because your college journey is your own and no one else’s.
You can be a double major studying Biology and Art.You can be someone who isn’t necessarily a mathematician but loves Science and Creative Writing. It isn’t up to the economy or popular choice to determine which degrees are and aren’t valid. Everyone that has made the decision to step foot onto a college campus in the hopes of achieving a higher education is brave and there is no degree certificate that comes signed or stamped as the most valid.
If you think your scholarships and internships are competitive now, imagine if you went to a school where the entire student body applied for the same exact programs.
If you have been on the giving end of the stick where you feel like your degree is higher than all others, that is great, but you should probably keep it to yourself. It is totally cool to be confident in your aspirations as long as you don’t put other people down in the process.
College is a journey of self discovery; it isn’t a competition as to who may or may not make the most money after graduation because then reality strikes. Employment isn’t guaranteed after graduation, which is why it is so important to network. No degrees are bad degrees, and even certifications and trade school are the right path to take if it leads you to your life desires.
Whether you are a musician, a metal smith, a culinary student, a mechanic or you want to go into physical therapy, your path is your own. Your career choices are yours and yours entirely, and just because someone may be going into a different field than you does not make their path less valuable; we are all simply different.
Different people with various paths striving to achieve the same exact goal: happiness. That looks different for each individual, but that does not make either perspective wrong. It makes your environment and interactions diverse. People contain multitudes no matter their life plans, and we deserve to be supported for being here and applauded for taking our own steps.