OPINION: Stop telling Arts students that their degree is useless

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Every Arts student has heard it at least once, that question that seems to be the only response when telling someone what you are taking in university; “So you’re doing that until you figure out what you actually want to do?” I’m here on behalf of all Arts students to kindly ask you to shut up.

Somewhere along the way, an Arts degree has been labelled as being “useless” and the “cop-out” degree for people who don’t want to work hard in university. Being an Arts student is challenging, to say the least, it requires balancing readings for multiple classes and making last-minute essay writing second nature to you – the same as any other degree. We work our asses off just like the rest of you.

In terms of its difficulty, I know many Science students who would rather do three lab write-ups than write one essay. How challenging a degree or course is depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual student.

An Arts degree gives students skills that set them apart from others. Unlike other degrees, students will walk away with the unique ability to collaborate, debate, lead, adapt and rework their thinking under any circumstances. Arts students excel in creative thinking and have a broader understanding of the world around them. We are practiced in effective writing and presenting our ideas in front of our peers.

That’s why it’s so important that we don’t dismiss an Arts degree as being “too easy”, as it only discourages people from choosing a degree that they will enjoy. University is hard enough, but when you’re taking courses that you have no interest in it’s exhausting and discouraging. 

I’m not trying to say that a Bachelor of Arts is the superior degree, I’m simply stating that we Arts students deserve to be acknowledged as the hard-working and open-minded people that we are.

Someday, we will teach your kids, provide psychological support to you at your worst, write your favourite novels, and go on to become successful members of society. We are not worthless. We are critical thinkers, who are well-versed in understanding and interacting within diverse perspectives of the world around us.