STORY BY JORDAN MCENTAFFER
A common discussion on this campus is the heavy workload of certain majors. Those students can commonly found studying in the library and panicking over tests.
They are also usually the first to be heard describing how difficult their major is.
What is not heard are students with majors that are not known to be as difficult, such as musical theatre, education, graphic design and journalism. Compared to science majors, these other majors have little to no work to do, right? However, if you found the last sentence to be true, you may find yourself to be in fact wrong.
While these lesser heard about majors may not find as many tests and quizzes as more arithmetic and professional majors, what they do have is an abundant amount of projects that are often due. Just because other students do not see them putting in late night hours in the library may not mean that their workload is any easier than others.
“I think a lot of people see the end product and the shows. They see how easy it is and don’t see us putting in time at the library. People don’t see what happens in our classes, and how much we devote to it,” said junior musical theatre major Samantha Gatwood.
By comparison, some people could even argue that they have a larger amount of workload.
“Last semester, I spent 70 hours in a classroom for practicum. What most people don’t realize is education majors are almost always unpaid interns. I had 40 practicum hours on top of 18 credit hours,” said Lara Cox, a sophomore education major with endorsements in special education and social studies.
If those numbers are not daunting enough, then taking a look into the life of a Musical Theatre major may be even scarier.
“We also have to take our AOIs, which is usually what puts us over the edge. It’s hard for us to fit AOIs in our schedule when we already need 124 credits for our major and 134 to graduate. Most semesters I am taking between 19 to 21 credit hours,” Gatwood said.
Students with these majors are also used to hearing conversations such as them having an “easy” major, or “what will you do with it?”
“The most frequent thing I hear is, ‘Oh really, what are you going to do with that?’ I usually just give them a look and say something along the lines of ‘you have no idea what it is to be a musical theatre major. You have no clue what it takes,” Gatwood said.
Musical theatre majors are not the only students to fight back on this subject.
“I’ve been known to kind of bare my fangs with that,” said Jeff Hersheway, a sophomore creative writing and advertising double major. “I don’t appreciate it personally, but then I have to take a step back from that initial reaction and think that my major may not be with anything like arithmetic, but it is a major that I have talents in that other people don’t, and that’s what I have to take pride in.”
Some students think this discrepancy in belief comes from misunderstanding, and that it is impossible to compare schools with one another.
“I feel like you can’t really compare [graphic design] to a science or math major, because they are such different ways of thinking and you are using different skills in different ways,” said Jenna Boures, a junior graphic design and advertising minor.
Gatwood realized that there are certain majors that require a heavy workload, however, she just stresses that other majors should not be so blatantly disrespected.
“(Other students) don’t understand what we are doing with our life. I have so much respect for people in the business school, journalism school and pharmacy school,” Gatwood said. “I wish people would know that musical theatre is hard in a different way. It’s emotionally taxing. The emotional stress and strain that goes into it is sometimes unbearable, and I think sometimes only people in this department see it.”