When people hear that I'm a literature major, they say things like "oh, well you love reading so all your homework must be easy" or "so you must love writing your essays then, right?"
These are stereotypes of my major, that all my homework must be a cinch because literature majors like reading and writing.
Yes, I love reading, but not the dense things that are assigned in class. I love reading "Game of Thrones" and "Twilight" (don't judge), not the billions of pages my teachers assign in their boring readers (okay, some of them can assign interesting things, but it's pretty rare in my opinion).
And I love writing, but I actually tend to hate essays, like, with a passion. I might be pretty good at them, but that doesn't mean I love them like people seem to think I would.
I love writing creative stories and articles, and yes I do at times like essays if I'm passionate about the topic, but most of the time, I dread them just like everyone else, which many people can't seem to wrap their heads around. Apparently I don't fit into the literature student stereotype very much.
So this got me thinking. We have so many stereotypes for majors and how students should act if they are in that major, and I wanted to see how many others defied their major's stereotypes. So, I took to Facebook and the people have spoken.
Here are their confessions.
Confessions of a (Theater) Major
Emily Fleet is a fourth year theater major at UC Santa Cruz, and people tend to jump to conclusions that acting is the only thing you can pursue if you are a theater major, which is not what she wants to do.
"I'm a theater major but I don't really like acting. I mean, like, I'll do it for fun or if someone asks me to, but I don't want to pursue a CAREER in acting!!! Every time I tell anyone I'm a theater major they're like 'oh, so you wanna be famous?' or 'I'll look for your name scrolling across my TV screen!' and I'm like nonono ... Please don't!"
Acting is the most common thing that comes to mind when we hear "theater," but there are many other options like playwriting and backstage work. Let a theater major express their true desires for after they graduate before you just jump the gun and expect they will act.
Haley Heidemann, a third year theater and English major at the University of San Francisco, said "I'm a theater and English major and I absolutely do NOT want to teach."
This is another common conclusion of these majors: that they will inevitably lead to teaching.
Confessions of a (Film) Major
Ruby Lynch, a third year film major at UC Santa Cruz, said "I'm a film major but I haaaate talking about films. Or watching most films. I'd rather binge watch TV shows."
Our stereotype of film majors would be that they've seen every film that's ever been made and that's all they talk about, but Lynch is showing a different perspective.
Like Fleet, she is giving something so opposite to what most people would probably expect, which is awesome! Keep them guessing, ladies.
Confessions of a (Psychology) Major
When we think of psychology majors, we might picture someone who has the therapist-y voice, who wants to fix us, and is someone we can go to with all of our problems. A lot of them seem to want to go into research too, but not Lindsay Banks.
Banks is a third year psych major at UC Santa Cruz, and said, "I'm a psych major but I don't want to go into research (just don't tell my research advisor that). Oh and I want to be a therapist but I'm really awkward talking to people."
She's my roommate and best friend, so I might be a bit biased but she is great to talk to about problems. But we always joke about how both of us are awkward about everything and with people in general so it is funny that she wants to go into something where she has to interact with people every day.
Matthew Robinson, a second year psychology major at Palomar College, said "[people think] that we are all mind readers and that we think we can cure everyone by taking one psych 100."
Psych majors are sometimes seen as thinking they know everything before they really know it, but for most of them, this is not the case. Sure, your psych friend might try to analyze you (Banks has done it on multiple occasions but I know she means well and just loves her classes), but they don't all think they know everything and that they can magically cure you by talking to you.
So give them a chance! Who knows, they might actually be able to make you feel better about things.
Confessions of a (Photography) Major
Jasmine Pombert, a third year photography major at Academy of Art University, said "I go to art school but hate going to museums and looking at/talking about/analyzing art ..."
A lot of people assume that whatever your major is, that's all you live, breath and do. But as we can see from a lot of these confessions, many students like what they are studying, but aren't crazy obsessing over it as we would think.
Confessions of a (Health Science) Major
Lindsay Richards, a third year occupational and physical therapy major at Palomar College, said "I'm majoring in occupational and physical therapy (health sciences) and I'm awful at science."
Sometimes, to get to our dream jobs, we have to go through things we don't like. This is another perfect example of how people simply assume that if you major in something, you are obviously good at it and in love with every aspect of it, which we can see from all these confessions has been true for no one.
Pretty much all of us hate things closely associated to our majors. Kind of ironic, huh?
Confessions of a (Journalism) Major
Blakeley Galbraith, a third year journalism major at The University of Texas at Austin, added on to the train of confessions and said "[I'm a] journalism major but I don't really like writing! I'm good at it when I need to be but people often forget about the different branches of journalism like photography and broadcasting!"
This is so true! Many majors have different aspects to them, as we have seen listed above, but many have one standout trait associated with them and that's all people care to acknowledge.
Confessions of a (Literature/Creative Writing) Major
You all saw my rant in the beginning, but let's see what some other lit and creative writing people have to say.
Phil Garbrecht, a fourth year literature major at UC Santa Cruz, said "I'm a literature major but I am a very slow reader."
This is another thing that people expect from literature majors, that we can read a mile a minute, which definitely isn't true for a lot of us.
Josh "Grassy" Knoll is also a fourth year literature major at UC Santa Cruz, and said "If there are stereotypes for creative writing majors, I'm probably guilty of all of them. Sorry I couldn't help. Oh wait! I have a trade school degree. #backupplan."
Many lit majors are seen as going nowhere with their degrees, so Knoll has broken out of this stereotype and secured a good back up plan.
Confessions of a (Linguistics) Major
David Deck, a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, talks about how most people think linguistics is all about knowing billions of languages, when it's not.
"Sorry that I don't speak twelve languages. Working on my bilingualism is hard enough ... though I certainly hope to meet that stereotype one day."
That's the spirit! Stereotypes can get really annoying, especially when people will tell you over and over what you should be doing in your major. Attempt to take Deck's approach and work towards some of the cool aspects of your stereotype if you are so inclined, or just tell people you'll work on it and then they'll shut up.
Confessions of an (Engineering) Major
Sara Dadafshar, a third year computer science and engineering major at UC Irvine, said "I'm a girl computer science engineering major haha." Nuff said.
This is a major that is stereotypically male, so when there is a female encompassing the major, many people stop and stare. You go girl! You are an inspiration to other girls who are afraid to do something that only "boys" tend to do, and that's awesome.
Allie Brown, a third year mechanical engineering major at Stevens Institute of Technology and Mechanical Engineering, is another inspirational woman breaking into a predominately male major.
"Yesterday I was the only girl in my lab of eight people, and that's not uncommon," Brown said. That definitely sounds intimidating, but Brown is a smart girl who can definitely hold her own in the field.
Razma Mogharrab, a third year engineering student at De Anza College, is breaking out of another engineering stereotype that all engineers are nerds.
"I'm an engineer, but I have friends and I don't sit at home all day glued to my computer."
Don't assume that engineers are antisocial, and also that they are all male, because as you can see, those stereotypes don't hold here.
Confessions of a (Building Science) Major
Chandler Lowe, a third year building science major at Auburn University, is also in the pursuit of a major that is for the most part inhabited by males.
"I am the only girl in all of my classes."
Like Dadafshar and Brown, Lowe is also in a field where people might raise their eyebrows when they hear that she's in it. But I'm very glad that that fact isn't stopping any of these talented ladies from going where they want to go with their lives. Plus, I'm sure many people are impressed.
Confessions of an (Athletic Training) Major
Renee Willrodt is a third year student at Palomar College, and said "I'm a female athletic training student, I'm not your 'water girl,' and not your personal trainer. I'm here to help you with the maintenance of your injury any way I can."
I really liked how she phrased her confession. This is yet another gendered major, and Willrodt is not about to let people walk all over her.
Confessions of a (Speech Language and Hearing Sciences) Major
Samantha Davis, a third year student at San Diego State University, submitted a confession on behalf of her male classmates. "This isn't about me because I'm a girl, but my major is Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and out of about a hundred people in my class, there are about 4 or 5 guys, haha."
It's interesting to see that the gender stereotype of majors can indeed go both ways. Yay for the guys in the major!
Confessions of a (Music) Major
Michael Seaman, a second year student at Chapman University, offered his humor-filled confession of "Common misconception about the music majors: we only stop practicing/writing/performing to sleep. Truth: Who has time for sleep?"
You thought they took breaks? Psh, you don't know what you are talking about.
Emilia Lopez-Yanez, a third year music major who also attends Chapman University, said "I'm a music major too! And I'm in a sorority which is rare to find!"
People tend to base what major you are in with extracurriculars that you will be involved in, but Lopez-Yanez shows us that you should still go for what you want, even if no one else in your major is doing the same.
Confessions of an (Environmental Science) Major
Johnny Roberts, a third year environmental science major at UC Santa Barbara, wrote a confession that made me laugh out loud.
"I'm not a granola eating, pot smoking, tree hugging hippie," he said, which is definitely how most environmental science majors are pictured by other people.
Confessions of an (Economics) Major
Sam Robinson, a third year student at San Francisco State University, said "I'm an econ major that really has no idea what they will end up doing. Oh wait, that's every Econ major ... sh!t."
This one made me laugh pretty hard too!
An ending note
So what can we take from all this? Don't judge people by their majors. Genuinely ask them what aspect they want to use their major for, and if they aren't quite sure, don't get all crazy on them. Be accepting, that is all.