If you’re a communications major and you’ve ever been made to feel inferior by your roommate who’s studying biomedical engineering or your cousin who’s seeking a career in corporate finance, you’re not alone. Year after year, especially during finals week, it’s the same thing. Communications majors are looked down upon for their “easy major” and “lack of work” and are actually criticized for what it is they do. Why are comm majors forced to endure this shaming? While we root around for the answer, Valley would like to put some of these age-old rumors to rest.
1. “Comm majors are so easy! You guys never have any work!”
In the words of the famous Dwight Schrute, “False”. We do have work, you just don’t notice! No, we don’t have your kind of work, biology; we don’t spend two hours on one problem with 16 parts. But, when we’re diligently typing away at our keyboards, we’re probably writing one of our many papers, for our many professors, all of which have many different opinions as to what an A-paper is. It’s not all about formulas for us — and sometimes we wish it could be.
2. “You’re so luck you picked comm. I wish I would’ve.”
We didn’t choose the #commlife, the #commlife chose us. This affinity for communications more than likely started way back when we discovered that math wasn’t our thing, but that writing is actually really fun. Was the reading section your favorite SAT section? Ours too. Also, let’s be real for a second: if we were in this for the money, we would’ve gone engineering, one hundred percent.
3. “You guys literally have no finals. I’m so jealous.”
Okay, so no, we might not have that many final exams on finals week, but don’t worry; we have a plethora of papers due the week before while classes are still going on. So while we may get to head home early, it’s likely the weeks leading up to finals week are extremely busy and full of work for us comm majors.
If you don’t believe us, that’s fine. Valley spoke with Andrew Elder, a wonderful communications professor teaching comm 260W, who said he experienced this even when he was a student. “There were times when someone in the life sciences or engineering would say, ‘Oh well you’re in comm.’ And I would explain to them that we still have plenty of work to do. We might not spend as much time in the library or in labs but we’re out in the field doing research and writing and rewriting. It’s rigorous in a different way.”
If you want more proof, we spoke with Steve Manuel, public relations professor and photojournalist for the football team, and another one of the best professors the College of Comm has to offer. When asked where the challenge lies in any communications profession, Manuel made it clear: “Anyone can write anything, but it doesn’t mean it’s good.”
Now, this isn’t to say that biology or business or anything of the sort is easy, in no way. Odds are you won’t find us raving about cells or atoms or nuclei or anything of that nature and we won’t be enrolled in three accounting classes and two finance courses, because that’s just not our thing. We aren’t putting you guys down, because what you do is definitely challenging, but what we do is too — in a different way.
Quick–witted Manuel, when asked what he would say to counter one of these misconceptions, had no hesitation. “Since you’re a person of math, and questions, do you have any empirical evidence to back that up? Or is this just your opinion?”
So the next time you are about to say something to a comm major along the lines of “you have it so easy,” think for a second. We didn’t choose this major just because it looked easy. We chose it because we love it and want to enjoy what we do. Math or science might not be our thing, but that doesn’t mean we have it easy.