The curious case of telling someone you study an arts & humanities degree.

This is going to be a fairly short blog post, just on what I’ve noticed recently. Some of you may be able to relate…

The small talk at the end of a church service or a social gathering, or perhaps a relative, maybe a family friend is round your house. They’re preparing to leave and then from the mouth of a friend of  a friend, a family friend, an uncle, an auntie (the list goes on), comes the question,

‘So, what are you going to study?’.

So, depending on the person comes either a reaction of praise and respect or one of disdain that artfully morphs itself into an ‘ohhh’ and a forced smile that’s not quite convincing  enough to mask the confusion, disapproval or even judgement in their eyes.

What I’m trying to do these days is not be so easily swayed by the reaction that ensues my answer to the ‘so what are you going to study?’ question. Because, as with any or most arts and humanities degree students, you’re either met with a response of appreciation, maybe even a little ‘ooh’ or people who inadvertently tell you that your degree is useless.

So the next time you have to answer this question, don’t pay too much attention to the reaction – whether good or bad. Because this temptation to care too much simply makes us even bigger slaves to the opinion of another person who’s (let’s be honest now) essentially calculating how important or smart we are on the basis of our degree choice.

Don’t take it too seriously.

Let’s just see how far we get with these ‘useless’ degrees of ours.




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