Choosing your major: should easy really be the goal?

Natalie Holbrook

One of the worst things that you can say to a college student is that his or her major is easy. People often view communication majors, art majors and English majors as easy majors.

This is mistaking creative for easy. And being creative isn’t always easy. Just because someone isn’t a science major or an engineering major, doesn’t mean they’re not smart. It also doesn’t mean that they don’t put in effort or study hard. Degrees are not free samples.re-stockphoto_books

If my major, Public Relations or any major, was truly that easy, then why would anyone choose something else?

People don’t choose majors based solely on how hard they are, or at least they shouldn’t. We should pick a degree that will challenge us, while helping us learn the skills that we need for our careers.

College isn’t just an educational hoop to jump through. It’s training for your career path. This is finally the point in our lives where we can take classes we want to take, not ones we have to take.

NMU offers a huge variety of majors and liberal studies classes; everyone can find a class they’re pumped to take!

Some people will have to work their butts off in the major that catches their eye and some will have a less difficult time because they’re interested in something that aligns with their strengths.

The hard sciences and English and history aren’t what capture my mind. I do happen to be interested in communication and the spread of information.

I want to be creative and develop promotional content for a company in the good times and bad. That’s why I take Organizational Communication, Communication Theory, Interpersonal Communication, Public Relations Case Studies and Research in Public Relations, classes that might sound boring to other majors. But these classes are super interesting to me.

The diversity of NMU’s class catalog is fascinating. One of my favorite parts of college is hearing people talk about classes that are exciting to them, even when I think they sound dreadful. Having a schedule filled with things you want to learn about makes going to class easier and completing assignments easier. Logically, everyone should get better grades in classes pertaining to their major than in liberal studies classes.

Telling someone that their major is easy is also insulting to how hard they work. I earn my grades just like everyone else. Yes, I do get good grades. But it’s not because my classes are easy. We deserve grades that reflect how well we master the material and meet or exceed assignment expectations.

Honestly, my group and I got a perfect grade on a presentation the other week. Want to know the secret of how we did it? We worked really hard, going above and beyond on the criteria. We also tied the elements of the presentation together with a continuous theme that made sense to people.

Enjoying what I do naturally motivates me to work harder. When it comes to doing your least favorite chore or your favorite hobby, you’re probably going to do the favorite hobby. It works that way with classes, too.

Taking classes I love means I work harder without realizing it. It may seem like an easy major because people work less hard. But they might be working less hard because they were more motivated to finish their assignment or study, so they completed these things quickly. Don’t work harder, work smarter!

Most importantly, calling our major easy is an insult to our intelligence. There are many ways to be smart.

No one kind of smart is consistently better than the others. Tecweb.org lists the multiple intelligences as: visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and logical-mathematical. Each of these is helpful in a certain situation and in a certain career path. Simply because I don’t have to work for as long as others doesn’t mean my major is easier. My major and my strengths align extremely well.

With every class I take, the more background knowledge I can apply to challenge myself in more advanced material.

Think about these things the next time you use or hear the phrase “easy major.” We all have our own kind of intelligence and we all have different interests. You may know the basics of multiple majors, but that doesn’t make you an expert in all those fields.

Having an entire serving of your favorite appetizer is better than having a sampler. Remember: there are no easy majors.