Hear Me Roar | TeenInk

Hear Me Roar

March 27, 2014
By morgan.d BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
morgan.d BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The animal kingdom is full of rules. However, one rule seems to trump all; eat or be eaten. The animal kingdom is a cutthroat arena, where you always need to be looking behind your shoulder, anticipating the next move of others. Because of this constant threat animals have to think creatively and on their feet to ensure their survival. They have to be dynamic, problem solvers, always one step ahead. The animal kingdom is truly the survival of the fittest. And who is more fit than the lion. They are strong, brave, leaders, and most of all capable.

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I grew up in the generation of science. It always seemed as if people loved pretentiously discussing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields of study – or the STEM fields as they are more affectionately called. This idea of living in a science based world became ever apparent my senior year of high school. I was struggling to discover what my calling was in the world. Day after day I questioned if I was supposed to be a engineer, doctor, lawyer, teacher or circus clown, with no avail. Finally I just broke down and thought I would enter college as an undecided major. I know there is nothing wrong with doing this, but I have always strived to be the person who knows where they are going and has clear goals. After weeks of talking to advisors, my parents, and friends, I finally decided on a major of study: Spanish Linguistics and Global Politics. Yes, that’s right, after not being able to choose one major I chose two. As time went by I became increasingly happier with my decision, knowing that if I did well it would take me to graduate school, and eventually the career of my choice. Then school started…

As the signature “Fall Welcome Week” began, I felt very settled in my new life. However, once classes started I began to feel out of place. While I was busy taking culture and humanities courses, the majority of my friends were all staying up until three o’clock in the morning reviewing their Calculus III homework or collaborating on an organic chemistry lab. It was safe to say I had one of the “easier” course loads of my group of friends. As the semester wore on, my friends didn’t quite understand why I wasn’t in the engineering school; which they thought was just a job mill. And I kept getting questions like “What are you going to do with a Spanish degree?”, “Really you think that will get you into law school, why not try this?” and my personal favorite, “Oh, so you want to teach Spanish then?” These friends (and I like to think that most engineers) were just told by high school counselors and newspaper articles that the STEM fields were the most rapidly increasing industries in our world, so you ought to study one. I just did not find this to be my calling, and I refused to suck it up, and do something that I did not feel passionate about, in order to make over 70k my first year out of college.

Don’t get me wrong though, STEM disciplines are areas definitely worth studying, and make for an incredibly well-rounded education, but it is not the only key to it. It is important in the ever changing, global marketplace, to have skills acquired by an education in the liberal arts.

It is clear that in every successful career a person must be able to think critically about social, economic, and political issues; and a liberal arts degree provides these. Most people will have several jobs during their careers, and liberal arts majors are the most adaptable to new circumstances. In addition, a specific degree does not define the future, for example, the CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves has a degree is Spanish. So it is important to note that it is not necessarily the degree you obtain, but the knowledge that you acquire.

In a liberal arts setting, a student can acquire the adaptive skills they need to be successful in the global workforce. Now, more and more Fortune 500 companies are looking for employees who have a sense of the world around them, and can efficiently solve problems with written and oral communication, instead of just crunch numbers behind a computer all day. A liberal arts education refines the skills needed to think critically and provide solutions, rather than argue over minute details.

Like the versatile lion, I know it takes more than strength to survive in the relentless dog-eat-dog world. Cunning wits, positive relationships, the ability to think on your feet, and express a positive opinion are all necessary skills. While on the surface the lion may just seem like a mindless meathead, it uses many other talents to rise to the top of the food chain, and again and again passes the test of natural selection. Like the lion I am adroit, and able.

While I do agree with the STEMers and think that a secure job and high paying salary right out of college would be nice, I believe that preserving and improving the world, comes in the form of a liberal arts degree. And I also believe that my liberal arts degree will get me to where I want to be ten, or fifteen years from now; in hopefully a high paying job, but more importantly working on something that I am passionate about, and that I do not dread doing every day.

I know that because of the liberal arts education I am obtaining, I will survive in the cutthroat world that is; the life after college. The skills I learn now will teach me how to adapt to new environments, emerge victoriously from conflict, and be a dynamic problem solver. I will not have just one set of skills, but many in an arsenal that I can draw from whenever they are needed. I am the lion; I am strong and capable in a world full of others who think I am not.



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