I am not a STEM major, but I am also not stupid.
Now before I begin my mini-rant here, I want to make it very clear that I appreciate STEM majors and I think their academics are rigorous and challenging. Also, I definitely am very grateful for their existence in the real world and I think they have countless things to offer society. Many of the people closest to me would be considered STEM people and I am so grateful for their existence because they can do things that I am unable to.
However, I also think all those things can be said for those of us who are not STEM majors as well. I remember growing up and feeling less intelligent and less important because I struggled in many of the STEM classes. Sure, I studied hard and got decent grades, but I really had a difficult time understanding the concepts and my grades were hard earned. To make matters worse, it felt like since I struggled so much in the classes, I was somehow stupid because those were the classes that mattered. Those were the classes that were too important for me to miss, too valuable to not take, and too necessary for the future. STEM is the future. STEM is where the money is. STEM classes are the most important classes.
Sure, STEM classes are important and they are necessary for a well-rounded education and life. But so is English! So is History! Why are business classes not required for all students? Why are there advanced math classes for elementary school kids, but not advanced english until high school? Why don’t high schools make all students take an accounting class? Will they not be paying taxes? Do they not make purchases? Are they not affected by advertising and marketing? What makes knowing the amount of work done on a car or the velocity of a falling object have to do with the real world for those of us not pursuing a career and life in the STEM areas? Being able to hold a knowledgeable conversation about world history, knowing proper grammar, and understanding big business are all necessary for a person to lead a successful life after school. Yet…not all students are required to take courses in these areas. When did business, english, history, art, and economics become non-essential? Imagine a society without all those things…STEM majors would have no jobs.
I am not saying that STEM studies not worth while and I am a big believer that the world needs engineers, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, and technicians. I just also think the world needs accountants, poets, playwrights, bookkeepers, marketers, journalists, and teachers. One side of the spectrum is not better than the other, they are meant to balance each other out. I just wish our educational system realized that even STEMs cannot grow on their own, they need help from water, soil, and sunlight.