What’s with the hate on Humanities?
No, I am not a NatSci and no, I do not consider that a problem.
It's a Friday night and I have succumed to peer pressure and agreed to stand in the chaos outside Life and thus have the pleasure of making terrible small talk with a group of NatSci's who we are crushed up against.
"So what subject do you do?"
"Oh…so what will you do with that? Be a museum guide?" A remark which prompts riotous laughter.
Another member of their party, however, gets straight to business:
"I did Latin at prep school…Caecilius est in horto amirite? It was JOKES but really bloody useless, let's not lie."
The exchange ended swiftly after.
This occasion was just one of many. I'm hoping my fellow humanities students out there can relate and are maybe all too familiar with the words of our friend as such remarks are really quite common for other students to badger us edgy Humanities kids with.
To many, studying languages and civilisations long gone is just utterly pointless. Latin is obviously a 'dead langauge' so why do it? Surely reading obscure 12th century literature is a waste of time? And analysing works of art just won't get you into the city will it?
No direct application to the real world? Count them out.
Another biggie is employment. If I could have a pound for every time someone told me I was going to have to get used to the fact that I'd end up a teacher or unemployed living off Daddy, I would honestly probably be balling while the accuser is probably slogging away at some soul-sucking unpaid internship in the city.
These Humanities Haters cannot seem to get their heads around the fact that you maybe, might possibly study your subject becuase it, god forbid, it might be so bloody interesting? Or even, something you actually enjoy!? Could there be more to life than numbers?
Yeah sure, I and so many others, could have spent my Year 11 maths and science lessons productively and maybe put my head down and banged out the hours to drag myself through a career in a different degree but where would the fun be in that?
The beauty of the a humanities degree is it is just so varied and you can learn so much about pretty much everything no matter what you have committed yourself to and you can similarly have the freedom to make what you want of it.
You can literally have a lecture on the nichest of topics (Rape and the Politics of Consent in 4th Century Athens anyone!?) and leave with your mind pretty much blown having underestimated just how much you thought you knew and how much territory you can cover in the space of an hour.
In what other subject can you read the horniest love poetry, study some crazy adventures, the worst relationship advice ever oh and there is tons of nudity. So many butts. Literally something for everyone.
I also loved being asked things like, "Did Zeus actually fuck a swan?" or even worse, "Can you speak Greek?" and be able to nod/deny and just contemplate for a minute how weird and wonderful that actually is and realise that this is what the next three years will be filled with…
Also, Humanities students are just so spicy. I've met too many people who are self-taught in 3 languages, have written their first novel and possess an awesome knowledge of areas even outside of their subject. It's incredible but just not fair.
When I arrived at Cambridge, it was the first time probably ever where I found people who could relate to my weird love for my subject.
People actually agreed with me that Brad Pitt made the perfect Achilles in Troy and were equally outraged as I about the usual jargon people use to slag off our wonderful subject.
It is also so easy to overlook how hard we all work. Our essays require us to absorb, comprehend and analyse an insane amount of information in a crazy amount of time and try and construe it in some sort of order which hopefully resembles an essay hungover, running off 4 hours sleep in the same sweatpants you've worn for the last 3 days.
That takes real skill which any employer would be truly lucky to have.
Most also seem to forget that some of the most successful and wonderful people have come into their own through a humanities degree and have reached even the least expected of career spheres no maths required!!!!
Yes, maybe we do have to spend multiple hours on the Sidgwick Site in buildings which resemble a penitentiary centre rather than a cathedral of knowledge staring across and wistfully admiring the Law Fac…
But to be honest, I'd take it any day. Even with prose compositions, essays, language supos and braving the intellectual heat of the Faculty library, at the end of the day I am very lucky to be studying something I truly love and am fascinated by.
Though I may have dedicated 4 years and thousands of pounds to the study of cultures which do not exist anymore and languages not even spoken except perhaps on the final day of my degree (if I make it that far…)
I have no regrets and could not be more confident that I and all you other humanities kids out there will emerge and be incredibly wise, successful and happy individuals for chasing those artsy dreams of ours.