Well, it's the time of year when freshmen clutter our campuses, lanyards in full swing as they romp mindlessly with a campus map unfolded in front of them. Sooner than it seems, these little creatures will be finishing their general curriculum and choosing the path for the rest of their lives. Whether you're a freshman or a super-senior looking to add that second major so it won't be creepy when you hit on 18-year-old chicks, here is a quick guide to what different majors have to offer you in the future:
The humanities are the non-empirical study of the human condition (i.e. you don't need to know math, statistics, or the scientific method). You do, however, have to read. A lot. Even in learning about film, painting, or sculpture your professor will always have that one "small" reading assignment consisting of sixty-four pages of dense analysis that is a must read. About three percent of those who graduate in the humanities will get a job making or analyzing art, about sixty percent will end up back in the system as an educator, and the rest will wait tables. At least you'll know you understand Native Son better than the jerks you're getting curly fries for.
The Social Sciences
These are areas of academia involving empirical study of the human condition (the nerdy big brother of the Humanities). Social Science majors have a higher chance of getting professors who are clearly remnants of the hippy movement, pony-tail and all. On the bright side, you only sort of need to know how to think critically, write, and do maththroughout much of your academic career many of these activities will be done for you. On the down side, unless you supplement your Anthropology degree with a Something Useful minor, you're spending at least another four years in grad school to get a job that will generally pay you so little you're forced to tell everyone you know that you're "just happy to be doing something you love."
The "Hard" Sciences
Alright, so you like math and you like robotics. It's time to suck it up, decide you didn't care about getting laid in the first place, and become an engineer. Of course, it's difficult to ensure jobs as the national economic climate changes so rapidly-who even knows if there will be any open engineering jobs by the time you get done! Your professors are all going to be from as far away from here as possible and they are going to give you very little leeway. Both of these things will be apparent every time they talk. On the plus side, you get to walk around with a false sense of superiority because your major is "one of the hard ones." And that will make you forget all about how much you hate your life over the next four to six years.
These are all of the majors about mass media, be it newspapers or television. You're going to have a lot of younger professors because the field changes too rapidly for older folks to keep up. This allows you to spend bonding time with your professor or TA talking about Call of Duty instead of going over the notes. Also on the plus side, you education consists of looking at copious amounts of shit you use anyway: television, advertisements, video games, and the internet. On the down side, you're going to end up in some facet of advertising, journalism, or telemarketing-pretty much no matter where you end up, you're going to be an asshole.
If you've already built your own laptop just so you could have a Linux machine, this major could be for you. You'll spend your college career learning the ins and outs of programming so that you can become an overlooked but vital piece in porn marketing. Of course, some of the lucky graduates in this field will become an overlooked but vital cog in movie-making and video-game creation. But the chances are you'll just end up working for a 24/7 tech-support hotline, passing the time at 3:00 AM by clicking away precious moments of your life to the sound of angry voices and inhumane amusement
like a circus monkey.