As human beings, we have an insatiable urge to one-up each other. At a school where being ever better is our theme, we take it farther than intended to include being ever better than one another. This is most predominately seen in the division or inherent rankings between majors. This is not to bash or bring down one or a group of majors; it is meant to take them off the same playing field and put them into the different categories where they belong.
Just as you wouldn’t play basketball on a baseball field, a Biology major cannot be directly compared to a Spanish major. They both come with their own challenges, and to say one is harder than another is simply an act of ignorance. They rely on different forms of analysis and ways of thinking. For some individuals, learning a language is easier than a science; for others, science comes much faster than a foreign language. So which student is right? They both are.
The current world record holder for the 400 meter dash is Michael Johnson with a time of 43.8 seconds. Similarly, the current record for the 100 meter freestyle, in short course, is Amaury Leveaux with a time of 44.94 seconds. These times are practically the same but represent two very different sports and distances. Neither event requires less effort than the other. The athletes may use different muscles and train differently, but in the end take the same amount of time to complete their respective events.
In a similar way, the science or engineering majors with their cramped schedules filled with labs are often compared to the humanities and social science majors with their seemingly open schedules; this is a misleading comparison. The free spaces in the latter’s schedules are not just spent  watching movies or TV. Instead, they are filled with reading the hundreds of pages required per class, analyzing works of literature with fears of being called on in a small classroom and not being prepared. They comprise of writing short,  one to three page assignments which are due every week with additional eight to ten page midterms and even longer finals. On the flip side, science and engineering majors have to complete problem sets and lab write-ups. This list is not all-inclusive for either side but instead strives to highlight the fact that both majors are relatively hard working. It’s not fair to belittle someone by calling them an English major; this is not an intelligent or even well-thought-through insult.
The next time you complain about your own major and think about switching into something “easier” to “work less”, I dare you to try. You may enjoy it more, but you will certainly not find that the work load is lighter.
Johnson is a member of
the class of 2016

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