Sometimes, midway through a semester, you realize that school is too hard and you’re sick of doing homework every night. Hey, the grind isn’t for everyone. Which means it’s time to switch to an easy major.
Here’s a few quick tips to finding a major with the least amount of work:
1. Go for anything with the word ‘studies’ in the title. Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies, Classical Studies… you catch my drift. These are all majors with minimal work. Everyone knows that reading three-hundred pages and then writing a ten-page paper every week is easy. You’ll have nothing but free time.
2. Avoid anything that might possibly include math. That cuts out quite a few majors, but if you’re determined to do any sort of work, you can’t do math. Math is too hard. Math classes are really only for child prodigies. If you didn’t come out of the womb knowing calculus, you can’t take math in college.
3. If you’re determined to do science, stick with a social science. But avoid Economics, because there’s actually some math in that. History’s a good choice. It’s pretty much just reading about dead guys. Okay, so maybe there’s some reading. But if you’re not doing problem sets, your homework isn’t hard. One of my classmates was right when he said: “Social sciences don’t even deserve to have ‘science’ in the name.” Honestly though.
4. If you’re really determined to do a hard science, know that there is a hierarchy. On the lowest level, we have Environmental Science, Biology and Psychology. Pre-med is a step above because they have to take the MCAT and that requires physics. Ouch. Next, we have Chemistry, Biochemistry and Neuroscience. They actually use symbols for words, so they’re not in the lowest tier. On top, we have Math, Physics, and Computer Science fighting it out for hardest major. These majors are impossible and the only people who can actually major in them are superhuman. If you want to have any kind of life, don’t even try.
I made up everything written above (and you shouldn’t listen to any of it), but don’t these ‘rules’ sound familiar? How many times have we heard about what we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ major in? Or, even worse, what we ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ major in? How long are we going to keep buying into these false stereotypes? We need to lose the idea that some majors are more inherently difficult than others.
Why do we need to stop fearing “hard” majors?
This kind of thinking not only shames women into majoring in ‘useful’ subjects, but it also prevents them from trying “harder” majors. And this is a shame. As a potential physics major, I hear it all the time: “Wow that’s so hard — you must be so smart! I could never do that.” I’m always surprised at how many people have it wrong.
I’m not saying STEM majors are easy. I am saying that they aren’t only for “the best and brightest,” (aka geniuses). And above all, they’re not something that any woman should fear or deem “too difficult” to attempt.
The key to success in any major? Passion.
As cliché as that sounds, trust me when I say that it’s incredibly common for women to drop out of STEM majors, not because they can’t handle the work (they can!), but because they believe they’re not good enough to try a “harder” major. They look around and compare themselves to everyone else and lose sight of why they’re doing the work. And when they belittle themselves, they lose focus and they give up. Happens all the time. It’s called imposter syndrome. And it needs to stop.
Plus, those Humanities majors that everyone thinks are a joke? (And are popular switches for former STEM majors?) Any Humanities major can tell you, there’s always more readings, more papers, more projects. No, you don’t have to sit staring at an equation for three hours wondering why it doesn’t work. Instead, you’ll stare at your laptop screen for three hours wondering why your essay isn’t good. You’re still working hard, as you should be in college.
In short, popular assessments of “hard”- and “easy” are wrong anyway. College is meant to challenge you, after all. So you should pursue whatever major interests you.
No major is too tough for you if you’re interested in the subject. You shouldn’t be afraid of a potential challenge! If you’re passionate about what you’re studying, you’ll find value in the challenges and see the benefits of all the hard work. No one enjoys staying up until 3 finishing homework, but all of it will feel worth it in the end.
The most successful women in any major are the ones who don’t often second-guess themselves, even when they do poorly on a test or their lab results come out wrong. They acknowledge that they might fail, and that it’s OK because everybody will fail sometimes – even the prodigies. They give themselves space to learn, grow, and try new approaches. And they don’t let anyone tell them they don’t belong in their major, no matter how hard or easy everyone else says it is. I encourage you to become one of those women — don’t take the “easy” way out.
What do you think?
Do you hear these stereotypes a lot on campus? Do you have any experience with imposter syndrome? Let us know in the comments below.