Many majors are looked down upon by the general population. Theater, English, history, journalism, philosophy and art majors are scorned for not pursuing something more practical such as a science — or math — oriented major, or even a more general business major. I can’t count the number of times a curious adult asked my major and responded with skepticism when I told them I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.
“What do you want to do with that?” they would ask. “You know newspapers are dying, don’t you?” Then they proceed to suggest a more “practical” major that they say would earn me more money in the long run.
There’s one problem here. I’m not passionate about math or science. I hate math, and I think math hates me too. I am passionate about writing.
The world needs passionate people, pursuing the thing they love, not because it is practical, lucrative or useful, but purely because they love it.
Without theater majors, where would Broadway and Hollywood be? Without English and philosophy majors, who would perpetuate the classic writers in the minds of young people? Without art majors, what would fill the walls of art museums everywhere? Without journalism majors, who would communicate the news? Without history majors, who would help us discover our past? These people may not be building bridges or saving lives, but that doesn’t make their work any less fundamental to the daily lives of people everywhere.
Engineers and scientists are revered because they create concrete things such a buildings and life-saving medicines. I think that part of this disconnect for the appreciation of liberal arts comes about because the creations of liberal arts majors aren’t necessarily concrete. But a liberal arts major can change the world as effectively as a science major.
An artist drew a rendition of Muhammed that created a political firestorm. The campaign for breast cancer, probably created by a public relations department, has astronomically raised the level of awareness for Breast Cancer. Movies such as “Supersize Me” and “Blackfish” help to inspire millions and create social change within society.
These creations differ from the creations of science and math majors, but they are no less influential.
Humans were created to be creative and different.
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly,” Romans 12:6.
Liberal arts and sciences aren’t so different really. Both are expressions of complex ideas that characterize humanity. We are complex beings and we all have ideas to express. One form of expression should not be validated more than another. The important thing is that ideas are expressed, concrete or philosophical, especially when it comes to the betterment of society. Young minds should be encouraged to express themselves in whatever manner they are gifted with, rather than the medium that will earn them the highest paycheck in the end.
People should have freedom from judgment in pursuing a liberal arts major, because we are all bestowed with different passions and talents which we are destined to pursue.
Lauren Friederman is a sophomore journalism major from Houston. She is a reporter for the Lariat.