On ‘useless majors’
Not too long ago, I learned dance is a major. I love dance — I dance everyday — as much as I need air to survive. If I can’t do it, I go stir crazy.
I’ve touched the surface of my feelings about attending college and whatnot, but I can’t remember what the posts were anymore or else I’d link to them.
People change. Learning I can major in dance changes everything. There was the interest of majoring in, or at least taking classes for, photography just for the hell of it, but I lacked actual interest in actually doing it to the extent that everyone around me considers photography to be: taking photos with their smartphones of people, etc. I prefer my subjects not to be human.
But it’s one of those ‘useless majors’ people think others waste their time on. According to Chapman University, dance majors go on to be plenty of other things outside ‘dance performance, choreography and teaching’.
I don’t know exactly what I’d do with a dance major, but I imagine I’d bounce around ideas throughout the terms; for all we know, I could wind up in California1 and dance in music videos and movies and other productions and live out my childhood dream.
(Seriously, though, that would be amazing.)
I could also be a food blogger with a degree in dance and make dance references all the freaking time, working dance into the food blog itself.
Or, perhaps I’d become a dance photographer.
Of course, that’s a ways off.
I need to get back into therapy and get everything all situated with myself first — I’m trying to focus on taking care of myself and really acknowledging my own needs, etc., something I’ve never been great at — before I can actually get into school, or work, because my brain doesn’t work the same way it used to.
This post, however, didn’t stem from me wanting to share with you my hopes and dreams of majoring in dance, or even to refresh your memory on my love for dance. I wanted to see if there were any other dance majors who had a food blog (because why not?). I’ve found food bloggers who moonlight as something completely different (e.g., a pianist, a zookeeper, a pet groomer, etc.), so why not search for a dance with a food blog?
And then I came across an article by a mother whose daughter is an American Studies major.
The article was comforting; the mother was supportive.
The comments, however, were harming, hurtful even, and shallow.
- Anyone can go anywhere with a degree; a degree does not determine what one’s income will be. Some don’t even need degrees to make a lot. Thus, asking whether one wants to live in a rural or urban area is quite meaningless, as the countryside does not determine one’s wealth — honestly, if you own property, you have a greater advantage than those living in the city, and chances are, you have a slightly larger income than those who live in the city. Rural areas and people tend to be more conservative, whereas the rich are more wasteful.
- STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — major is merely that; some ‘make it’, others don’t; it doesn’t guarantee wealth and penthouses.
- Arts majors are not for the unintelligent; geniuses who want to be artists should have the freedom to become that. For example, I like writing, but I could never major in it no matter how naturally it comes to me, no matter how many people have offered to hire me if I ‘just had a major in writing’. (Two. Two people have, and I would rather die — or major in science — than major in writing.)
- “Why not major in one of the STEM areas and incorporate your true love into that?” I can’t with this ignorance.
- One’s success is their own definition.
I’m really glad college doesn’t define success on my dad’s side of the family.
(Well, business defines success, but one bird and one stone at a time…)
And maybe I’ll go back to photography, but I know my stance on obtaining a degree changed drastically upon learning dance is a major, and if I’m gonna major in anything, I’d rather major in something that makes me happy instead of something that stresses me out.
(Take that, everyone who crushed on my dreams when I was thirteen.)