Posted in Opinions

Constructing a weird war between majors isn’t constructive

My skills means just as much as yours do

Image Credits: Alexa Tarrayo

It’s the eternal debate that continues to pop up every so often between SFU students: which is the superior degree?

It’s not usually brought to the table in exactly that form. It’s more like rude comments about how stating the difficulty of writing excellent essays and keeping up with heavy reading for non-science courses is “so pathetic” compared to engineering. Or snipes about how focusing on anything but STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) means you don’t “deserve anything better than McDonalds.” On the flipside, there’s the whole stereotype of Beedie students being stuck-up or spoiled that tends to get referenced, despite the lack of observable basis.

I’m not here to take a side one way or another, partially because I’ve taken few to no science or business courses here, but also because this weird divide that exists between majors is kind of ridiculous. Like, yes, some of the resulting memes are pretty damn funny, and I’m totally down with some friendly rivalry or criticism.

But when someone tries to devalue other people’s hard work at producing top-notch essay masterpieces by referencing their own intentionally shitty work, it gets old. When you say that my choice of education will doom me to a life in fast food, despite the fact that BAs and science grads actually have very similar average employment rates and pay, I’ve gotta wonder who spat in your cereal this morning.

Whether it’s through WQB requirements or through the natural lines of overlap between the most distinct classifications (business, humanities, fine arts, science, etc.), most of us either have studied or will have to study fields besides our preferred ones.

It’s supposed to be an opportunity for us to broaden our mindsets. More often, it just leads to people complaining about the very existence of WQB, or going online to complain about the classes they don’t like. You’re totally within your rights to do that, but shouldn’t you at least try to understand other people’s viewpoints?

Try to acknowledge the merits of each field and understand their critical roles in society. Being a talented writer requires heavy thought about style, syntax, connotation, logic, structure, and a lot of other important nuances. Pursuing STEM entails a rare diligence and devotion to your work that isn’t always seen. Business is competitive and fast-paced. Fine arts needs a spark of creativity most people lack.

That all sounds like a lot of fluff, and it sort of is, because it’s stuff I think we sort of just take for granted and ignore. But if you don’t value what other people’s skillsets bring to our society, you’re missing what makes your own work worth caring about and funding, for that matter.

When you call a person’s major useless or easy, you’re disrespecting both their passions and the hard work they put in for their degree. You think you had it tougher? Good for you. That doesn’t negate everyone else’s efforts. Instead of tearing other majors down, we should be raising ourselves up and connecting with each other.