If I were a different major, would my life be figured out? 

Hailey Livingston, Columnist

There are 31 days left until graduation. As a senior, I’m stuck in between feeling overwhelmed by the crippling I’m-about-to-be-in-the-real-world anxiety and pure bliss knowing my time here has almost come to a close. 

Leaving Whitman behind is hard, but it is especially hard when you have no idea what comes next. I find myself refreshing my job list on Indeed at least 20 times a day—the pressure to have life perfectly lined up by May 22 being my driving motivation. 

I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life, and that’s totally fine. Every graduating senior has been told the same thing over and over: it’s okay to not know right now! You’re so young! As reassuring as that attempts to be, it’s not quite enough to stop me from questioning everything. If I were a different major, would my life be figured out? 

Let’s backtrack for a second. Before we were seniors, we were sophomores trying to decide what the heck to major in at this teenie school. I’m an English major, and before I start cracking jokes about writing essays on books I didn’t read, I’m going to defend Whitman’s best department for a moment. The English major is fantastic. The professors are kind and caring, I’ve learned more than I can remember and I have an awesome bookshelf now. That said, when you tell people you’re majoring in English, they either ask you what you want to teach or kindly inform you there isn’t much you can do with an English degree. 

Maybe I haven’t found a job yet and maybe I’m feeling a little extra defensive, but gosh darn it, that’s not because I’m an English major. So, without further ado, welcome to my roast of Whitman’s majors. Don’t take it personally, let’s just have a laugh at ourselves, shall we? 

There was a brief moment where I thought I was going to be a politics major, but after reading the Communist Manifesto for the fourth time in a year, I decided maybe politics isn’t for me. I want to write a joke about Whitman students having a weird idolization of Marx, but it could go over some people’s heads, and it’s only fair if everyone gets it. 

Is it rude of me to group STEM together? If I’m being honest, every time someone tells me they’re a BBMB, chem, biology, whatever-the-science major, my brain goes blank and all I hear is “I’m smarter than you.” I don’t even mean that in a joking way. This isn’t a roast at all. I just assume they are smarter than me—I mean, they’re here to cure cancer and become doctors, I’m here writing a roast for the student newspaper. 

But they don’t need me to tell them that, they think it all day long.

Sociology? Anthropology? What’s the difference. Film studies in Walla Walla—what are you doing? I don’t even need to type anything out for art history, I’m sure your parents have exhausted all my insults. 

Okay, I’m done now, and now that I’ve said it, I hope we all realize how silly this conversation is. I like to read and write, but that’s other people’s personal torture. Some people can do math, other people can paint. It doesn’t matter—what matters is that we are here, and we are doing something we care about. 

Last week, my creative writing class took a five-minute break and chatted outside to take our minds off our cramping hands. Collectively, my classmates and I could come up with three or four people we knew graduating who already have a job lined up. Yeah, most of those people are STEM majors, but it really solidified what High School Musical taught us so many years ago—we’re all in this together. 

It is estimated that roughly 32 percent of Americans over 25 have a college degree. For my fellow English majors, that is less than half! Having a college degree is meaningful, impressive and something to be darn proud of—who cares what you majored in. Your degree, whether it be in math or in history, means that you know how to study, you know how to persevere through stressful weeks, and, most importantly, you know how to fake it through a Zoom meeting. 

Of course, we’re all going to think we have the best major, or maybe we don’t think that—but the point is, we’re all out here trying. All the work we’re putting into our different courses matters, whether that be directly applicable information or the skills we’ve picked up along the way.