Don’t demean bachelor of arts degrees; these majors matter

Quick poll: How many of you have felt personally victimized by business majors who didn’t think your degree in the arts was worthy?

I am a journalism and international studies double major. I have homework every night, have held an internship every summer of college and have a career secured when I graduate in May. Why is it, then, when I talk to my pre-med or business major friends, that I feel inadequate?

I know the education and fashion majors out there will agree with me when I say: It’s time we stop putting others down because their major doesn’t “sound very hard.” Every major is difficult. College is difficult. That’s the point.

The beauty of humanity is that we are all made differently; we all succeed and fail in different ways. We all find joy in different things. Your validity should not be found in being good at, or enjoying one particular thing.

For example, I love graphic design. I could, and often do, spend hours in Illustrator sketching characters or scenes, or in InDesign finding the perfect font. Maybe you love Excel, or when you finally solve a math equation that has taken days. My point is that neither of these is necessarily better than the other, just different.

There are other reasons that majors in the arts (or ones that aren’t specifically business) still have validity. While more popular majors may have large alumni bases, smaller majors often have a more close-knit community of alumni willing to help anyone graduating from their alma mater. A smaller group working side-by-side equals closer connections and deeper bonds. You may find a common connection with a future employer that you wouldn’t have coming from a major of 200+ students.

A smaller class within your major also means that you will be taking courses with the same group of students year to year. Because you’re spending longer than one semester with them, you will be able to collaborate, form relationships, and hopefully learn from them along the way. Perhaps they have held an internship in the past and have connections you could benefit from. Maybe they know an easy technique for something you’ve been struggling with.

Studies have also shown that working creatively can help you to succeed in the long run. Creative people tend to find more innovative solutions to problems and focus less on competing with each other and more on bettering themselves. Huffington Post says that companies who are more creative “are able to leverage their creativity and their innovative capabilities to attain long-term success.”

What matters is not what your major is, but how you use it. Are you striving daily to put yourself above the rest? Are you utilizing every opportunity? Have you made connections? And, ultimately, are you doing something you love? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are successful in your right. Don’t let those with seemingly “harder” majors put you down for succeeding in something you enjoy.

Ashlyn Thompson is a senior journalism major from Ruston, La. She is a reporter for the Lariat.