I am a university student, a fact about myself that I am rather proud of, and not just any university either. I’m currently studying a joint honors B.A in English and Sociology, in University College Cork. This means that out of my 60 credits per year, I take 30 within the field of English studies, the other 30 within the field of sociological studies. Broadly speaking, I’m doing an arts degree and I am here today to staunchly defend my decision to do an arts degree.
You hear it all the time in secondary school, or I certainly did at least. “You’ll get nowhere with an arts degree! It’s a waste of time”. I remember the arguments with both career guidance teachers in my school throughout my 6 years there, as they tried to convince me to do nursing instead of English. (I would like to take my opportunity now to say “IN YOUR FACE! I got my way..”)
However, I feel (and I have seen in with my own eyes) that people who go into a degree simply for the sake of being employed, rather than because it’s what they’re passionate about, are more likely to end up feeling miserable. I know I would have been absolutely dismal if I had listened and gone into nursing. (Not to mention I’m incredibly squeamish. I would never last!) Getting your degree isn’t easy, I won’t sugar coat that fact. But if you’re studying something you’re not even that interested in, how could you possibly find the motivation for it?
I’m halfway through my second year in UCC, which means I am literally halfway through my degree now. I couldn’t be happier with my education if I tried. I’ve met amazing people, study something that actually has me motivated to get out of bed in the morning. I even make flash cards. I’ve been given opportunities that I don’t think I would have gotten if I did another course. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do things like be part of a campaign team during Student’s Union elections or go on the freaking radio every week (for almost a year might I add!)
Most importantly of all, I’m happy in my degree. I was miserable in school. I hated doing maths, it turns out I really suck at geography (even though the formation of gem stones is kind of cool) English was always my biggest love, with art not that far behind. I fell in love with sociology within my first week of lectures and haven’t turned back once. I’m happy and achieving my dreams. How many people can say that? I work just as hard an an accounting or engineering student and I am damn proud of my arts degree.
So for you school kids thinking of doing arts but being put off by the words of those who don’t like/understand an arts degree; stick that middle finger up and do it anyway. Never let someone’s crappy opinion get in the way of your happiness.