The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday February 4th

Column: Dear humanities majors...

DTH Photo Illustration. A set of books in the Davis Library with different subjects such as English, art, and journalism.
Buy Photos DTH Photo Illustration. A set of books in the Davis Library with different subjects such as English, art, and journalism.

A part of me always knew I wasn’t going to be in a lab coat or scrubs. 

I thought of “doing something more” and changing the world as if the career placed on my heart wasn’t enough. I considered being a pediatric occupational therapist, a pediatrician, a psychologist, etc. Still, I always came back to teaching. 

I’ve only ever received two reactions when people hear that I want to be a teacher: “Aww, I can totally see you being a teacher!” Or a simple “Oh.” I would prefer to hear the first response, but I have learned to live with the latter. 

High school me would have taken someone’s “oh” personally and hopped on Google to find STEM careers that still allow me to help children — all because I used to value my worth via my studies and what others thought of me. I felt silly putting all my effort into acing my math and science classes only to disregard them for singing ABCs with five-year-olds. 

I became more confident in my dreams as I headed into college, but I still struggled to not question my worth coming to a school like UNC as a non-STEM major. 

I will never have an 8 a.m. biology lecture, a lengthy chemistry lab or a ridiculously difficult weed-out course. To most, a Human Development and Family Science major with a minor in education probably sounds like a walk in the park. 

I got used to hating even using the word "hard" to complain about my workload because it felt minute in comparison to my peers in STEM. From one humanities major to another, know that this is a dangerous mindset.

If you have ever felt the way that I have, remember that your spot at UNC is well-deserved and you are just as valuable. Nothing here is inherently easy, which goes for humanities majors just as much as it does for STEM majors. You can rant about that 10-page paper, long-winded seminar or tedious art piece. A strenuous workload isn’t meant to look the same across the board.

Not everyone can solve for X, familiarize themselves with the anatomy of the human body or engineer software. But not everyone can analyze Shakespeare, do archival research or move a crowd with just their words either. You have been bestowed with skills that make you unique and have been placed exactly where you are meant to be. 

Do not let anyone, including yourself, question pursuing the career you are passionate about. By all means, experiment and listen to others' advice with an open mind. But, the day you know your heart is set, don’t let it waver. I would hate for you to look back and realize you sacrificed your happiness for the sake of doing what other expect of you.

The world needs more social workers just as much as it needs more doctors. You will find your place and fulfill your purpose — you can’t fulfill anyone else’s. 

Wear your major with pride and if you haven’t already, declare it.


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