Arts and humanities majors need to be respected

Illustration by Roe Gassett | The Signal

Considering I’m paying for my education, I should get a say in what classes I take. There is no reason students within specific majors should be required to declare a minor.

In a survey I conducted with 10 Georgia State juniors, seven of them mentioned that the only reason they are minoring in the field they are in now is because the school required it. Did you know that not all majors require a minor? I know for a fact that film and media majors and journalism majors are required to declare a minor, while nursing majors and chemistry majors aren’t. 

Is the university trying to send the message that arts and humanities majors don’t take up just as much time and effort as STEM majors? We pay our tuition to receive an education to hopefully better our future lives. When students have to add a minor to the situation, they are left to deal with extra costs for classes that they did not want to take in the first place. 

Suppose a student chose to come to a university to study in a specific field. In that case, the university should not force the student to study an additional field that, nine times out of ten, has no real connection to their major. 

College is like an aquarium. In this aquarium, there are many varying species of marine life in different exhibits. Every creature has unique features and a unique way of living; we appreciate these differences. Imagine taking a tiny baby turtle and throwing it with the sharks in the middle of their childhood. That is what the university is doing to arts and humanities majors. If we wanted to swim with the sharks, we should make that decision ourselves.

As a journalism major, it’s an annoying reminder that I will eventually need to declare a minor. Being a freshman in a GSU1010 class, I am learning a lot about the university as a whole. Being both a journalist and a student, I am discovering the untold flaws of the university system.

Did you know there is no music minor listed on the Georgia State website? I’m sure I could take some classes on that specific subject, but what about my love for music or playing my instruments? I would have majored in music if I saw myself pursuing a full-time career in it. I see myself pursuing a career to be a journalist, so being able to minor in music would have been the next best thing for me. I shouldn’t have to commit to music to be able to enjoy it in my college life.

A lot of students find themselves in a similar situation. The university forces students to pick a minor, often one they have no interest in at all. The university neglects to provide options to our students, the opportunity to choose a minor closely related to our careers or passions. 

There are options, no doubt: I could minor in creative writing, English or film and media. However, I am not interested in adding on to my workload. I’m only a freshman, and I know between my personal life, school, and work, my future self will not want to add more classes to her schedule. 

So, dear Georgia State University, it’s time to accept that arts and humanities majors put just as much work into their desired field as STEM majors. It is not fair to require students to declare a minor just because the university system may not deem their major difficult enough to stand alone. It is our money, our education. We students should have a say in not only what classes we take but what we decide to focus our attention on while enrolled at the university.