Happy Friday, all! The sun is out for the first time in what feels like seven years today and it’s warming up! Cause for celebration, I think. And what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful new Friendly Friday post?
Thanks to my good friend Maggie for writing this one up! She’s got talent, y’all. Eloquent. Well-spoken. Kind of a badass.
Here we go.
Maggie Sturm is eighteen and currently living in Peoria, Illinois, where she attends Bradley University and majors in Theatre Arts. In her spare time Maggie enjoys watching Friends reruns, eating Ben and Jerry’s straight out of the carton, and avoiding her Sociology homework.
WHY THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH CHOOSING A “USELESS” MAJOR
It’s the same story you’ve heard a thousand times. You’ve just started your first year of college, or you’ve been there for a while, or you haven’t gone yet but you’re in the process of applying and choosing a topic to study. You go home for family Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, what-have-you. A grandparent, aunt, or older cousin corners you in the living room, and you make small talk until, finally, they ask the million dollar question:
“So, what are you majoring in?”
The air goes out of the room. Suddenly everything seems to move in slow motion. You never really understood the concept of deja vu until today; this is not the first time you’ve had this conversation.
“I’m a theatre major.”
And there it is – the heavy scent of disapproval. Your relative sniffs and quirks an eyebrow before covering their displeasure with a “polite” smile.
“Oh! How fun.”
“And… what do you plan on doing with that?”
There’s a strange discrepancy between the baby boomers/gen X-ers and millennials. We have engaged in a conflict over the root of all evil: money. Our parents and grandparents have begun to measure our success in the amount of zeroes found at the ends of our paychecks; meaning, of course, that if you have decided to study anything outside of the STEM or medical fields, you have to be prepared to face at least four years of questioning stares. Don’t get me wrong – this judgement comes from a good place. Our families are simply concerned about our future; no mother or father wants to see their pride and joy living in a rat infested apartment with a fridge stocked only with milk and old fruit. And in a world where the average college graduate has taken out $26,000 worth of student loans, mom and dad’s fears are very much real!
There’s no way to argue the importance of making a living, especially in a free market society such as our own. But at what point is it more important to care for our mental health than for our wallets? How do we juggle the cost of living with our own happiness? The fact is, even I don’t know. But I do know that I’m never happier than when I’m in class dissecting a script, or building a ramp for our next show, or engaging in a scene from a play that I never would have even read if it hadn’t been assigned to me. I can’t claim to know that I’ll have a steady paycheck post-graduation, or that I’ll even know what kind of job I want! But I know that I’m never going to regret my four years of college, because every day I get to learn about and engage in the things I love the most.
And hey, if the thing you love the most just so happens to be in one of those aforementioned high-paying fields? More power to you! But if you want to major in English, or philosophy, or art, then your potential future salary shouldn’t keep you from your passion. And the next time someone asks you what you “plan to do” with your major?
Tell them you plan to be happy.
I LOVE THIS, GUYS. Maggie’s a great writer with some great ideas and I can tell you from a personal standpoint, some great morals. Truly a standup human. So thanks Maggie. I love your brain. And I agree with everything she’s written about today. Be happy, guys. There’s really not much else in life you’ve got. Not to get too heavy. But it’s true. Happiness is the ultimate accomplishment.
Let us know what you guys thought of this week’s post! Love it? Hate it? We’d like a peek into your huge brains, so speak up. We’re always open to some constructive criticism.
Thanks a ton for reading this week! Thank you again to Maggie for writing about a very important topic.
Have a great weekend! Hope to see you all next week.