by Catherine Arjet
As we all know, “What’s your major?” is probably the most common question people ask college students. For me, the exchange always goes the same way. After I say “Business and English,” the other person will cock their head slightly to the side and say “Oh… well that is an interesting combination. What do you plan on doing with that?” Like the majority of my classmates, I frankly don’t know, but I do know that having such radically different majors has allowed me to think and interact with my education in different ways then I would have if I had stuck to one field.
I first entertained the idea of purposely choosing such different majors (although not these in particular) on a trip with my high school to Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. Allegheny actually requires their students to either double major in two completely different fields or major with a totally unrelated minor. I stayed with a girl who was majoring in biology with a minor in political science. Like me, she had no idea how she was going to meld those two. Even though I didn’t end up going to Allegheny, I loved the idea of the unrelated majors and carried this idea with me to Millsaps.
Maybe it’s just my two departments, but I’ve noticed that we seem to close ourselves off (at least academically) from those in other fields. I’ve heard an English professor say things like “Of course, if we showed this to people in the Else School, they wouldn’t know what to do with it,” while my business professors have referred to the classes I take in the Else School as “hard classes,” and my English classes as my “fun classes.” Honestly, I take offense to all of those statements. Not only can I, as someone who spends a great deal of time with the Else School,
analyze the heck out of poetry, but I’m sure many of my business classmates could as well. And yes, my English classes are fun, but I work just as hard in them as I do in my business classes, which I enjoy just as much.
The best part of it, however, comes from the mixing of the two. When we discuss Marxism in my critical and cultural theory class, I can think about it from a business standpoint or when I look at an ad in marketing as if it’s a poem, I can painstakingly analyzing the word choice and the metaphors. It’s time we stopped trying to build walls between the majors and learned to embrace the similarities and differences.