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All the sad young humanities majors

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By Carla Roman

Asst. Opinions Editor

[email protected]


I’ve always believed that the beginning of a semester always feels as though filled with promise for greatness. I’ve also always believed that for us as students to succeed and achieve that greatness there has to be what I like to call the 100-rule and/or perspective.

The 100/100 rule (or perspective) that I’ve gained throughout my last three years here at Albany is what I believe leads to greatness not only during college but also after graduation.

The idea is that the student will give their 100 percent best throughout their academic years. Meaning that they attend all classes, go to office hours, hand work in on time, do well on exams and actively involve themselves in one or two clubs.

Now the other 100 percent is where it gets tricky. Ideally in a flawless academic system the college you’re in is giving you back the 100 percent they expect you to give them. But of course this is in a flawless system where students themselves as people and learners, not money and funding, come first. The idea would be that the college you’re in is giving you 100 percent of their resources, connections and services to better not only you but also you’re field of study in general.

To better explain: this means that you’re college is doing all it can to give you the greatest exposure to your major, better classes in your major, networking opportunities in your major as well as guidance and recognition.

If you’re college is actively creating opportunities like this as well as funding for new clubs in your major among other things and as a student you see it and feel it then they’re giving you 100 percent.

As a mere student, one of many, here at Albany I’ve always tried to give my school the benefit of the doubt. For the last three years I’ve tried to be optimistic and disregard that small voice in my head, the voice that tells me that our school forgets the students and professors in the field of humanities more and more.

Now this is only my opinion, for all I know the school had to cut some of the language programs; had to cut the Greek myth department long ago; had to build that new lavish Business building that includes five new business laboratories and four business centers on top of a new business trading room for only the business building to use. Meanwhile, the growing number of humanities majors, don’t even have a specific building to call their own.

When will be the day that an English major can walk on campus and see a nice building called the English Building, which serves as a reminder of the investment that the college puts in your field of study? When will be the day that at Albany and even at other SUNY schools that humanities majors won’t feel forgotten and abandoned?

As a humanities major how can I feel motivated to give my college the 100 percent that I want to give it when I clearly see my school giving me back the minimal of effort, funding and opportunity? Now as a senior, I can’t help but worry that I wasted my time here at Albany.

The multiple career fairs Albany has hosted I’ve gone to and been deeply disappointed. How can a humanities major benefit from Ernst and Young, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Hertz Corporation or IBM booths? These are all great names for let’s say Business majors, but definitely not English, Journalism, Art or Music majors.

After three years, I’ve learned better than to expect Albany to recognize my field of study and give me the networking opportunities I need. While others majors benefit greatly from the publicity of the Albany’s major as well as its career fairs and networking opportunities, we the humanities majors as well as other majors don’t.

I’m not saying other students in different majors are handed internships, networking opportunities or advice. But does the school make it visibly available to them more? Yes. Does the school give other majors a greater percentage of their efforts and funding? Yes. Does the school make these opportunities available to other majors with the same amount of effort? No.

Part of a college’s job should be opening your eyes to the potential your major has. It is part of a college’s job to create networking opportunities, offer guidance and direction for you and your future after college. This is part of the 100 percent that they should give to you and your field of study, not just some.

As my last year here begins, I can’t help but bitterly worry. I wonder if I didn’t do enough to secure a future in my major or in a specific career path. But then I look back at the useless career fairs, the bias budget cuts throughout the years and the bias funding. Then I think maybe it’s not me that hasn’t given the 100 percent, but my school.

But it’s a new year, so optimism and promise are high. Like many other students I’m ready to give my 100 percent yet again, and this time I hope Albany does too.

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