Put yourself in a STEM major’s shoes: VAPA degree is not the best

September 12, 2016

Eleanor Sturt

esturt@uccs.edu

As a student who received A’s in every class, I still had to work extra hard for that good grade in science class. I took a nursing biology class before I transferred to UCCS, and I’ll admit that it was a struggle.

I had to study hours a day to understand the content, and, even then, the pH scale never made sense.

My brain does not compute science as well as it computes English, humanities or art classes.

If it’s just memorization, it’s easy for me.

But as it gets more complex, it requires the ability to analyze information and create a solution.

As a VAPA student, I cannot imagine being a STEM major. The type of work it requires is far beyond me, and it amazes me that these students work as hard as they do for what they want to do in life.

So it confuses me when I hear VAPA students speak poorly about STEM majors. Some art students say “art is the only degree for the passionate,” “they carry themselves so rigidly” or “they’ll never be happy in life.”

Perhaps these bitter quips toward the STEM department are due to a lack of understanding, or maybe it is an immature response to the mockery many of us are accustomed to for being an art student.

VAPA students often get harassed for choosing our degree. Many family members wanted us to get a “smarter” degree, one that would solidify an income.

But that doesn’t justify VAPA majors to mock other students’ choices.

In this economy, students will choose a degree that can result in a solid career after they graduate, but that doesn’t mean they are not passionate about their major.

STEM majors are some of the most passionate and hardworking students on campus.

They study hours for tests that can make or break their class grade. They are often exhausted from the long lectures they sit through, which are then paired with a lab.

The VAPA department does not have classes that even come close to that sort of difficulty. We have difficult classes, but not in the same way.

Being professional, even in a learning environment, should be admired just as much as being casual. Their career requires a great deal professionalism, something that many VAPA students can learn from.

We take pride in our understanding and expression of people, and the STEM students should be no exception.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the VAPA department. I have found a home with like-minded people and incomparable support from my peers in my career choice.

They are full of beauty, creativity, understanding and kindness. These attributes should be shared, not just with fellow VAPA students, but with the whole student body.

We should all be able to come together, VAPA and STEM students alike, and improve society, but we cannot do that until we stop mocking the other.

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