A lot of my friends are still majoring in something they hate. Why? Because colleges aren’t helping with this problem at all. I figured this out just by talking to my parents. When they were in school, colleges were pretty much the same. Every school would have each student taking the same classes for about the first 2 years and they would have to take every basic subject. This was also the time when they could take electives in a few different subjects to try things out and figure out what they liked. Then by junior year they were ready to make a decision about a major and concentrate on that.
When all the schools had the same basic majors, you could choose a school based on location or size and not have to worry about a specific program. We all know colleges are not like this anymore. Now if you want to do engineering you go to MIT and if you want to do art you go to RISD and so on.
The benefit of this is that if each college doesn’t have to have every major out there, there can be a wider range of majors offered. This is great, but I think there are a lot of problems caused by this. The first is that programs like this want you to start on your major courses freshman year and take more of them throughout the 4 years which means that some basic courses have to be cut out. Some students might think this is great that they can avoid ever having to take a Math or English class ever again, but when we are only knowledgeable in our one specialized area and don’t know even the basics of other areas, we are not very well-rounded people.
A second problem is that at some of these schools, the entire student body is very similar. It is nice to be surrounded by some people that are in your specialized area, but if the Art students aren’t interacting with the Science students we don’t learn how to communicate with different types of people. These two problems I would love to see fixed, but that would mean that every school would have to have a huge range of majors and professors which just is not possible yet.
The third and final problem, though, is the one I think we students can fix…
See our post this Friday for our part 3 of Career Choices and Colleges.
Kellie Rowan is a virtual intern for Braathe Enterprises. To find out more about virtual internship opportunities, visit http://www.braatheenterprises.com/internships