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FRANSEN: Different majors indicate different skill sets

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Before even starting college, elena fransenour 18-year-old selves try to predict how we will spend the next four years. If we are indecisive, we pick an undecided or communication studies major.

Everyone is looking for something in their major – possibly a career right after graduation, a solid foundation for graduate school or one that looks good on paper. Through time and classes, which can be hit or miss, we figure out the best fit for ourselves.

I started out as a communication studies major, but after a semester, I realized it wasn’t the proper match for me. I wanted something I found more substantial, a major I could excel at but still be challenged by. Somehow that led me to declare a double major in history and philosophy.

Students from every major often go back and forth, saying their studies are the most difficult and that everyone studying something different isn’t working as hard. But it’s important to remember each major requires a different array of skills that not everyone has.

While a course load of writing papers and reading books on the history of U.S. foreign policy and the existence of free will is the polar opposite of the work of an electrical engineering major, that does not mean it is necessarily easier.

I can crank out a solid 12-page paper in two days, but there is no way I could complete a biochemistry lab write-up. We can’t all be biomedical sciences majors or even history majors, nor would we all want to be. Each student has their own particular skill set and interests that lead them to his or her chosen major.

We start with a similar core curriculum and from there become more focused on our majors. While I learn more about ethical theories, engineering and education students learn … something else, which I’m sort of OK not knowing. No matter what our majors are, we’re all refining our natural abilities that will be conducive to the futures we aspire to, whatever those may be.

Not everyone is on the same path because we have diverse backgrounds and strengths. We face different challenges and are drawn to distinctive ways of life. It’s OK that we aren’t going exactly the same way as each other.

When you look at the differences between majors and individual students, it makes sense that we aren’t all doing the same thing. We are diverse people, with no two students being exactly the same, and we try to find a major that suits our personal skill sets and that we hopefully enjoy.

Instead of comparing our major’s level of difficulty to others, let’s stop and really think about if we could do what they’re doing in their major and just give them props for taking it on. It doesn’t matter if it is more or less difficult from our own, as we all have various tastes and affinities.

To all those engineering, communication or health sciences majors: You keep working hard, doing what you want to do. I’ll stick with my history books and philosophical journals.

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