It’s kind of funny, if not slightly irritating watching or listening people form and ask the same question over and over again, when I say I want to be a writer. Hell, I don’t even have to say that, I simply have to state that my major is journalism, and everyone goes into a frenzy. You won’t believe how many times I end up having to make people understand why I do what I do, and why my goal is what it is. It’s stupid. You don’t see people questioning a person who wants to do medicine, or someone who wants to do engineering. No you always see the people who want to do liberal arts suddenly put in front of a judge, a jury, and an executioner.
It’s hard as it is to succeed in a liberal arts field, I don’t need another set of people judging me, not based off of my talent and capabilities, but on my desire to be a writer. People in today’s society don’t quite understand the need for liberal arts. When they hear the term, liberal arts they think: writer, actor, singer, poet, etc. All of which are highly competitive careers. And because they are so highly competitive, people only know the odds of making it big, and criticize those who want to try their talent.
Of course, there is competition within the STEM fields, but you don’t exactly hear about it, why? Because there are an abundance of engineers, doctors, IT associates, and on and on. Some would say that’s because the job is easy. No, that’s not the case at all. The thing is that all the people who are incapable of performing these jobs are weeded out through college. So many students drop chemistry, physics, calculus, statistics, biology, and many other courses that are needed to succeed in STEM fields. Why? Because those courses are pretty freaking hard! But you don’t exactly need a degree to be a writer, a singer, an actor, or many other liberal art professions, mainly because these careers aren’t based off of an academic understanding, but off of a talent that people have cultivated outside of the classroom. It’s like sports. You don’t learn how to play football and succeed at it by sitting only in the locker room and strategizing plays. No, you go out and try new strategies for new plays, that will help win games. STEM is taught solely in an academic and classroom understanding. Sports and arts…not so much.
This makes people think that, “Well can’t anybody do it then?”. My response is, “Well, obviously not, considering the high ranking of competition people have in succeeding in Hollywood, reaching top charts in book sales, and headlining the song billboards and radios.” It’s like they can’t even acknowledge that it takes real talent, skill, and quite a bit of patience and motivation to get someone where they want to be in the artist world. But then the next argument is that, “But what about the people that make it big because of their connections, and money?”. My response: “Yeah, well corruption is going to exist everywhere in the world because of we are humans, and we are prideful, greedy, hedonistic, creatures. There’s corruption in the arts for sure, but also in politics, business, and yes there is definitely corruption in the STEM field.” Bet not everybody knows or acknowledges this idea. Yes my dears, there is definite corruption in the STEM fields. Scientists who want to sell their findings to the highest bidder to make a name for themselves, people who steal each other’s research in order to claim their own glory, people who simply decide that sabotaging an associate is worth more for their job title. Here’s an example: when researching the shape of DNA, Rosalind Franklin was the first to actually discover that DNA was shaped in the form of a Double Helix. However, she was also working, not necessarily with, but around two other male scientists, Francis Crick, and James Watson. These two noble, young, male scientists didn’t discover the formation of DNA until they looked at, and stole a couple files that Franklin had been researching through the man’s lab she was working in, Maurice Wilkins. Maurice had allowed Rosalind to work in his lab, and when she wasn’t up for sharing her findings he allowed Crick and Watson a look at her information, without her permission. Guess who took credit for the “discovery”? Yes, the two young, male, scientists. Who got the Nobel Prize for it? You guessed it, Watson and Crick. So, the next time someone wants to point out the corruption in the artist world, take a look and the corruption that surrounds every field. You can’t get away from it.
So why is there this stigma against artists? Why do I constantly have to deal with the crooked looks, and constant questions about whether my parents (specifically my father) are okay with me becoming a journalist or a creative writer. My theory is that many people have grown up a certain way to believe that STEM and academics are the only way this world progresses, and the only way to make money, but I can tell you differently. You need creativity in order to progress, without it there’s no way technology could have advanced, infrastructure could be constructed, policies could be made, and critiques of society could be heard. When people come up to me and ask whether I’m sure I want to become a writer It ell them I’ve wanted it for years, which I have. I know where I want to go in life, and I know what paths are open to me in order to get there. The problem is that when people’s ideas are challenged and questioned they suddenly feel the need to impose their own beliefs upon others, in order to make themselves feel as if what they know is still true. You can believe that STEM and academics are the only way to make money, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe it, so don’t try and convince me otherwise. People need art for progression, but at the same time, people in artistic fields shouldn’t completely shut themselves off from the sciences, because we need to understand technology and sciences in order to make decisions in today’s society. You can’t live without one or the other, but what you choose to make your career out of shouldn’t be constantly questioned. Both sides are important for our world, it’s not a competition on which one is better, because they are both valuable.
In summation, the arguments against arts and for STEM fields are ludicrous, just as any argument for art and against STEM would be. Both are competitive fields, just in different areas. Both have corruption, and lastly, both lead people to happiness. So let’s set aside this stigma for either field, and in this case the arts because that’s what I’ve experienced most, and just accept the fact that people don’t need unsolicited advice. If I wanted your advice I would have asked for it, so please excuse me while I return to my road to self-growth, hope, and success.