College can be a very stressful time for students and one of the most overwhelming choices they face is selecting a major. Students who choose to study the humanities can face a particular set of problems as they enter college life. Majors that study art, music, literature, languages and philosophy can often feel as though they take a back seat to science, technology, engineering and math majors. Here are a few helpful hints for humanity majors to stay inspired and confident with their field of study:
Internships & Employment
Whether it’s work study or an off campus position, there is a wide variety of jobs that are geared toward the humanities. School newspapers, local magazines and museums are all great places to begin searching for openings. Many campuses feature their own newspapers which offer writing, editing and photography positions to interested students. This kind of freelance writing lets students to write on topics that they are passionate about while allowing them to choose their own hours. If you are having trouble finding employment that suits your major, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a counselor to ask for specifics.
Dealing with Family Pressure
Almost all college students have visited extended family members only to be faced with the dreaded question of “What job are you going to get with THAT degree?” Family events like Thanksgiving and Christmas are no longer safe, but a battlefield of questions regarding your future. Majors studying arts and humanities can experience pressure to switch to a major that is stereotypically believed to be more profitable. Students can address these questions by explaining how passionate they are about their major and all the opportunities that are open to them. Tell your worried parents about the summer internship you were looking into, show them the article you’ve written for the school newspaper, or invite them to the play that you’re performing in. Most of the time, family members only pepper you with questions about your future because they’re worried. So to avoid these uncomfortable questions, show them how passionate and committed you are to your major.
There are hundreds of clubs and organizations on campus that are made for the humanities. Attending club meetings and getting involved is a great way to get in touch with like minded students who love the same kind of art that you do. Getting out, making friends and making art together will help you stay motivated and keep on track with your major. Not only will exploring clubs get you out of a slump, it can help you make connections with possible friends and employers.
Scholarships & Networking Tips
Trying to navigate the job market while you are in school can seem impossible, but one thing that can really help is networking. This can be difficult for humanity majors since there are fewer networking opportunities, but there’s still hope. Talking to professors can be a great place to start. They were, after all, in your place too. They can recommend local businesses that hire students within your major and offer advice on how to move forward. Scholarships are also an important source of financial support for the humanities. It’s essential to jump at every opportunity since so few are offered and to fill out as many scholarships that you can. You can also sign up for a mailing list within your department so that you are emailed when new scholarships come up during the year.
Being constantly stressed with school work and assignments can make it difficult to find time to practice your art. Whether your passion is painting, writing or performing it’s important to keep practicing it. It is easy to get lost within school work, but remembering why you’re in college will help keep you motivated. Allow yourself a few moments everyday to practice your art and remind yourself why you fell in love with it in the first place. Don’t let the busy, hectic college lifestyle keep you from practicing what you love!