I’ve been at university for about six months so far, and I’ve noticed one thing comes up time and time again: people don’t like Arts kids.
Science majors, med students, biz kids—no matter the degree, a lot of people tend to look down at people with degrees in the Arts and Humanities. We’re wasting our time and money. All we’re going to get for it is a job at McDonald’s and Starbucks.
I’ve listened to people laugh as I tell acquaintances from high school what my major is. I’ve heard the collective snort as my sociology professor asked how many art kids were at the lecture. I’ve seen the comments on my university’s social page.
I’m sick of it. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Look, I get it. My Classics—which was Comparative Literature and Culture before it was cut—major does not have a ready-made career path. Trust me, I know that. But here’s the thing: it will help me in whatever career I choose.
The Arts teach you skills that are—in my opinion—something everyone should have. Studying books, history, or even pieces of art teaches you to think critically. It opens your eyes to the world around you, and makes you see things differently than you did before. It is what can transform you from being a blind follower to an active participant in life. They help us from good times to bad times and back again. They inspire us, transform us, and turn us into a better version of humanity.
I’m not negating other majors. Just like everyone else, I think that we need engineers and scientists and doctors, too, especially in today’s world. But we need other people, too. We need historians to help us learn from our past mistakes. We need writers to transport us to another world, and journalists who can reveal the truths of the real one. Artists to make us feel something. Translators and linguists to help us decode the world around us.
There’s a place for everyone in this world. And the Arts deserve their spot in it.