No University student would deny that the tension between students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Management and the College of Engineering is palpable to say the least. Whether it comes up on Facebook or in a normal conversation, students of these respective schools often voice their negative opinions towards the other disciplines. The dichotomy is especially seen between the students of the arts and sciences and the engineers. Engineering students argue that the arts and science majors “have it easy” and have no right to complain about their course loads, while arts and sciences majors argue that engineering lacks creativity and engineers lose out on social opportunities because they are “socially inept.” Both of these generalizations and assumptions are completely based on stereotypes, and I believe that the value of education in all three disciplines is equally as prestigious.
That is a heavy statement to put out there considering the strong feelings students have on the issue. Just because the homework load is more or less in some disciplines compared to others does not mean that both disciplines aren’t receiving two great distinct educational experiences. Students need to stop comparing themselves to each other, because once they do, they will realize just how lucky we are to go to a school as great as this one. I would safely argue that the University is in the top 10 percent of colleges and universities in the world, and any education from such a coveted and prestigious institution absolutely must count for something. I offer a few words of advice for students still caught up in feeling superior about the value of their education: First, for those who complain about “not having it easy,” it is important to remember no one forced you to choose that major. I would assume that you are pursuing a career path that you will be happy with, and sometimes part of life is working hard for the things that are worth it to you. Plus, comparing yourself to other students who are learning completely different subjects is essentially like comparing apples to oranges. Other students’ experiences and workloads certainly do not and should not change your academic experience in the slightest, so there is no purpose in resenting them or comparing in general. On the other side of the spectrum, it is important to note that just because you are interested in pursuing one of the engineering paths does not mean you lack the ability to succeed in anything besides those subjects. No arts and science student would deny that engineers are extremely intelligent individuals, but far too often these students feel superior in other aspects of life not pertaining to math and the hard sciences. The judgment from both members of the arts and sciences and engineering programs needs to stop indefinitely. The value of a education from the University extends so much beyond GPAs or the course load one is taking. Part of being here is growing as a person and being involved outside the classroom, and certainly members of all disciplines are talented in many of these realms. I am confident that once both sides come to value each other, the campus community will grow even stronger. After all, whether you become a famous opera singer or build the world’s largest bridge, the only thing that should matter in the end is that you are a Bucknellian.