Why We Need to Stop Shaming People for Their Chosen Major

Story by Anna Kendall
Photos by Amy Cain

“Anna, what are you working on?”
“Stuff for education.”
“Oh, so nothing.”

Casual exchanges like this occur on campus every day. We nonchalantly poke fun at our friends, arguing over who has the more difficult course load. We don’t even think about the hidden implications behind these statements. It’s all in good fun, but on some level, it’s rather damaging.

I’m currently a secondary education major with an English focus (and a freshman, so we’ll see how long that lasts). I’m also an honors student here at Central Michigan University. This means that I’m surrounded by many other majors such as math, science, engineering and pre-med. These majors are frequently praised for being pathways to the most innovative, in-demand jobs.

However, I also witness the way all of the different disciplines tend to look down on each other.


Each program has its own biased way of thinking about other majors. I admit, as an English student I roll my eyes at students who are unable to thoroughly analyze the rhetorical strategies of an academic essay. Taking pride in your major is an ecstatic feeling! No one is better suited to do that job than you. But, does that really mean that any other discipline is less important than your own? The answer is no.

Just because someone has a major that you think is less challenging than yours doesn’t make it any less important, or any less taxing.

  • The Sciences take incredible retention of information and calculated decision making.
  • The Arts require an impeccable eye for detail and creative problem solving.
  • The languages, a fine tooth comb for editing, analyzing and producing written works.
  • Education and Human Services an amazing amount of patience and compassion to effectively teach and serve others.
  • Business a detailed understanding of the most efficient methods for marketing to and making wise profits from their customers.

Each field has its unique set of skills, and none of these can be deemed more or less difficult than the other.

Who shaped every college student into the doctors that they will be one day? Teachers.

Who deals with the emotional trauma that health care professionals and educators are not trained to handle? Social service employees.

Who helps all of these professions plan for their financial future responsibly? Accountants.

All fields are interconnected endlessly. Think about the connections right here on campus; we have a fantastic writing center that assists students in getting the best scores on essays, a business department that offers resume assistance, a campus health center to treat that strep throat or mono you’ve recently contracted.

Even though the relationships aren’t so obvious sometimes, each field relies on the others. You can’t justify speaking degradingly of another profession, when your own success relies on it some way, shape or form.

When you act like someone’s major is less important or challenging than your own, it can make them question if what degree they’re pursuing is actually meaningful. This has been happening to me all year, as students frequently blow off education as an unimportant major, but without education majors they wouldn’t even be at this university.

I’ve earned my right to be here; I earned my spot in the honors program. The major I decided to pursue doesn’t make me any less intelligent, or my future career any less difficult than that of anyone else. That goes for everybody.

If the minds behind this institution believe a program is important enough to have a curriculum, we as students are unqualified to say any different. Each person struggles through the difficulties of their major, and we all need to recognize that each program has its own challenges.


So, let’s stop saying and thinking that other people’s passions are less meaningful than our own. To do so severely harms the hardworking and collaborative environment that Central Michigan University strives so hard to achieve. I’ve never met such creative, intelligent people in my entire life, and they all come from a plethora of different majors. Let’s celebrate this diversity and use it to make us stronger, rather than just turning it into another competition.