College Admissions Guidance

Blog posts about college admissions topics such as essays, extracurriculars,  planning, mental health, etc.

Majors in subjects like English, philosophy, psychology, and sociology?

application strategy career options future planning Sep 23, 2021
We students are way too focused on a STEM education. While the benefits of STEM are awesome and tangible, don't disregard the humanities subjects. those make you whole. Shreya, my older daughter is getting a very complete education at Wellesley college where she is majoring in CS yet 50% of her classes are in Humanities; that's a requirement when you graduate from a liberal arts college. Read on for more.. 
What do we think about majors in subjects like English, philosophy, psychology, and sociology?
subjects in which nobody really understands what anybody else is talking about, and which involve virtually no actual facts. I attended classes in all these subjects, so I'll give you a quick overview of each:

ENGLISH: This involves writing papers about long books you have read little snippets of just before class. Here is a tip on how to get good grades on your English papers: Never say anything about a book that anybody with any common sense would say. For example, suppose you are studying Moby-Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say that Moby-Dick is a big white whale since the characters in the book refer to it as a big white whale roughly eleven thousand times. So in your paper, you say Moby-Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland. Your professor, who is sick to death of reading papers and never liked Moby-Dick anyway, will think you are enormously creative. If you can regularly come up with lunatic interpretations of simple stories, you should major in English.

PHILOSOPHY: Basically, this involves sitting in a room and deciding there is no such thing as reality and then going to lunch. You should major in philosophy if you plan to take a lot of drugs. 

PSYCHOLOGY: This involves talking about rats and dreams. Psychologists are obsessed with rats and dreams. I once spent an entire semester training a rat to punch little buttons in a certain sequence, then training my roommate to do the same thing. The rat learned much faster. My roommate is now a doctor. If you like rats or dreams, and above all, if you dream about rats, you should major in psychology.

SOCIOLOGY: For sheer lack of intelligibility, sociology is far and away from the number one subject. I sat through hundreds of hours of sociology courses and read gobs of sociology writing, and I never once heard
or read a coherent statement. This is because sociologists want to be considered scientists, so they spend most of their time translating simple, obvious observations into scientific-sounding code. If you plan to major in
sociology, you'll have to learn to do the same thing. For example, suppose you have observed that children cry when they fall down. You should write: "Methodological observation of the sociometric behavior tendencies of
premature isolates indicates that a causal relationship exists between groundward tropism and lachrymatory, or 'crying,' behavior forms." If you can keep this up for fifty or sixty pages, you will get a large government grant.

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