"People tell me that studying Arts is a waste of time"
Dear Sara, I am sick and tired of hearing people tell me that studying Arts is a waste of time. What should I do?
Thanks for the question, reader. The faculty of arts is one of six at the University of Waterloo and, like Hufflepuff, often receives some undue teasing. Studying arts is called easy and useless all the time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s true.
People have always had the compulsion to ostracize a minority, something that didn’t start at UW. What’s more, even ostracizing the arts didn’t start at UW. The starving artist has been a persona since before anyone can remember and poking fun at art has been an academic sport for centuries.
Yet, art endures as a discipline. Take comfort in that the next time an engineering student uses your program as a proverbial punching bag.
I know what you’re thinking, reader: that’s all very well, but what if everyone’s right? What if I can’t get a job with this degree?
Let me return to my Harry Potter analogy for a minute. The Harry Potter series has sold more books than anyone could care to count and made an immeasurable amount of money in tag-along products like movies and merchandise. Harry Potter was written by J.K. Rowling, one of the wealthiest women alive today, and J.K. Rowling has an undergraduate degree in French and classics; in other words, a degree in arts.
Before you start getting excited though, reader, let me make myself clear: I’m not insinuating that an arts degree will make you the next J.K. Rowling. No amount of desperate wishing or wand waving can do that. What I am saying is that an arts degree, like any university degree, is what you make of it. If you are studying something, you should have a pretty clear idea of what you want to do with those studies.
A job is very rarely going to fall into your lap. You may stumble into one, but more often than not, you will have to figure out how you want to apply your knowledge in a lucrative way.
You have a passion and it is your mission, just as it is the mission of an engineering or math student, to determine what you’re going to do with it. And yes, that is daunting and scary, but by the time you have to make that determination, you will be a university graduate.
You’ll figure it out.
If you have questions for Sara, please e-mail them to email@example.com and she will be happy to respond.