I was listening to one of my friends the other day complain about how hard his major is (he’s a biomedical sciences major). I then told him how this Accounting class I’m in is pretty difficult as well. He simply dismissed me and said, “A business major is so easy; don’t even get me started.” Aside from the fact that he was being an arrogant jerk for thinking so highly of his major, while looking down on mine, I wondered if he had a point.
Are some majors inherently easier than others? No doubt everyone can agree that taking an Organic Chemistry class is much more difficult than a Freshman English seminar, but what about taking a senior English Thesis class? What about high-level business courses, or even theatre classes where one has to read almost every play Shakespeare ever wrote. Does organic chemistry still trump those classes?
Upon considering it for a while and asking a few of my friends what they thought, I’ve determined that certain majors both are and are not inherently more difficult than others. You may be a bit confused, but keep reading. Consider the parity in how people learn, and what people are good at. English may come very natural to me because I love to read and feel that I’m fairly capable of presenting my thoughts on paper (or on the web) clearly and concisely. So, I may think that taking an English class is easy as pie (or so the saying goes). That being said, I am terrible at science, and therefore have the most extreme difficulty when I have to take a science course and listen to some teacher drawl on and on about covalent bonds. Does that mean Chemistry 101 is harder than English 101? Certainly not, it just is harder for me because it’s not what I’m good at. I’ve met plenty of students (many of them Engineers), who are fantastic at the physics, math, and science of everything, but wouldn’t know how to analyze a great work of literature if it smacked them in the face. Some people who think their major is fantastic may have difficulty in understanding marketing strategies or some other type of business discipline.
That being said, every major has both their tough classes and their “gimme” classes. The tough classes are designed to give the diploma added value, to challenge students, and make sure that only the most dedicated are worthy to graduate from the specific college. These same majors may have really easy classes that always seem to boost students’ GPAs and provide little challenge to a person of average intelligence and academic fortitude. Just as some science majors end up taking classes that destroy them, they may have classes that are simple.
However, to bring it back to the central debate, is, for sake of argument, an Organic Chemistry major more difficult than my Marketing major? Maybe, but it could be because it takes more credit hours to complete, or there’s a few more harder classes, some professors could be harder, or any other number of reasons. The bottom line is that when it comes to college majors, everything is relative. What may seem like a dumb easy major to some may be difficult for others. And hey, an education is an education, right? You should feel you can choose whatever major you want. Just consider career prospects and what truly interests you. So, learn from my friend, and don’t think you’re better than everyone simply based on your major. Wait until you’re making $500,000 a year to think that.