On my Arts degree

I have no idea where my degree is taking me. I’m totally cool with this, because I love what I’m studying.

I have never been set on a career path. I was not one of those kids who was all “I’m going to be a doctor when I grow up!” and actually went through with it. I flirted with a million different options. As a kid, I thought about being a vet, a journalist, a teacher, a cat breeder*, a lawyer, a psychologist, a singer, a writer, an actor, an agony aunt, a mother. As I grew up, I culled many of these options (realising I dislike kids way too much to actually want anything to do with them) and thought of more possibilities. But before I knew it, school was telling me I needed to make a decision so I could go the university that would help me ~achieve my dreams~! I knew I didn’t want to study medicine, or engineering, or architecture. But I didn’t know what I actually wanted. Panicking, I decided to study towards a double degree, in Law and in Arts.

I discovered fairly quickly that Law was not for me. I hated the lectures, I hated the assignments, I hated the readings: I hated the very essence of it. Friends noted I didn’t seem like myself. My family tiptoed around me. I quit after the first semester, because I was an emotional mess. One paper did that to me – I couldn’t bear the thought of how the rest of the degree would affect me. I decided my mental health was more important than a qualification I wasn’t even all that interested in anyway.

So I focused on just one degree, a Bachelor of Arts. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, but the Arts subjects were perfectly suited to my talents and interests. After a couple of weeks, I realised that a BA was right for me. I was happy in what I was studying.

Despite being happy in myself, I am aware that others are not. I am constantly bombarded with negative opinions of my course of study. Because only “lazy” people study Arts. That we “don’t do jack shit” and “just waste studylink money”. That we “will never find jobs”. That “anything other than Science is a waste of time”That BA stands for “Bugger All” because BA courses are “so much easier than all the real courses”.

There is so much negativity directed at Arts degrees. But why should anyone care about my studies? I don’t care about what anyone else studies (bar my friends, because I care about them). I am doing Arts because it fits in with my interests. I like my degree. I like my subjects. I am sorry if you do not like yours, but I don’t see why that means anything in relation to me.

If anyone tells you that your area of interest is “not as important” or “a waste of time”, then that person is a judgemental douchebag. You don’t need that sort of negativity in your life. No one has the right to criticise choices that don’t affect them. This goes for everything else, too. If you don’t want to or didn’t go to university – so what? It is your life. Ignore those people who want to diminish you. Do what makes you happy.

*I still may go for that one.

4 thoughts on “On my Arts degree

  1. I felt a little like you when it came to decide what to do after I graduated from high school. I knew one thing: I wanted to do music. But should I only do music, or should I do a double degree, with, let’s say, a science subject, so that in case I fail at music, I have something else to turn to? It was my mum who decided for me what I should study this year at uni, because I couldn’t really make up my mind. So now I am doing a double major music-neuroscience. At first it pained me to do science but now I’m quite happy, because it is interesting. I think on one hand, you have to do what you love, but on the other, you have to find a way to enjoy the things which you don’t think you would enjoy.

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    • music and neuroscience sounds so interesting! i could never get my head around the technical side of science, yet somehow i’ve ended up majoring in a science subject too. i’m really glad i went through all the struggle and indecision i did at the start of university, because now i’ve ended up finding subjects which i really love and can hopefully apply to whatever i end up doing with my life.

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