The battle between arts and sciences

“Arts degrees will get you nothing but fast food work.”

“We all know that science students are better than arts students.”

“Science degrees = real jobs; arts degrees = nothing.”

“Are you sure that art degree is going to prove useful?”

In every city, at every school, on every campus arises the age-old debate that the sciences are better than the arts BUT, how do the students that cross between these two faculties feel? These students are the true critics of each field and can really attest to the difficulties that come with each degree.

In this corner: Science students taking arts courses

right-brain-left-brain-ss-1920-792x600As a current science student, I have taken a couple of arts courses. One, in particular, was Fine Arts 335 (FA 335): Popular Culture and Time Travel (yes, UVic has a course on time travel).

I went into this course thinking it was going to be an easy A – I would talk about time travel, use my imagination, write a paper… no big deal.

Well.. it was a BIG DEAL.

I got my first assignment back and I scored a 60%. The assignment was a creative writing piece. Each student had to talk about where he/she wanted to travel in time and why.

Realizing that this class was going to be a lot more work than I intended, I made time to talk to the prof and began to put in the amount of work that I would need to attain a good grade. To my surprise, I had to put in the same amount of work in this class (probably a little more actually) than my science courses.

Going into a course in which I had no previous background proved to be a hard adjustment. I had to pull from corners of my brain that I never normally use and found myself talking to my prof on a weekly basis to get feedback on my assignments.

It was only after this intense amount of work that I was able to achieve an 85% grade overall (that first assignment really sank me). As a science student who prides myself on academics, I realized that the arts kids have just as much work and passion for their subjects as I do for mine. I could no longer say that the arts were easy and a joke; I lived the challenge and achieved a new-found respect.

8936939190_e621b43dca_bAnother one of my friends in the sciences decided to pick up an “easy” music elective called African Hand Drumming. We both laughed at how much fun he would have and the easy “A” that would show up on his transcript.

Halfway through the term, my friend was overtaken by the beats. After quickly realizing the challenge that comes with music (learning beats, hearing tones, actually playing music), he had to drop the course to not suffer a drop to his grade point average.

That being said, he went into the course without thinking anything of it and wasn’t fully prepared to put in effort because, it was just an arts course. I’ve encountered a few other people that have taken the course and even gone to a performance – from what I’ve heard and seen, it’s definitely a fun course but like anything, it requires work.

And the opponent: Arts students taking science courses

photo credit: Laboratories via photopin (license)

Photo credit: Laboratories via photopin (license)

On the flip side, I hit Facebook to ask any of my friends in the arts faculty whether they had taken a science course and I immediately got responses.

One friend is studying graphic design but decided to keep her options open with medical school and took the required science courses to enter.

Being an arts student and travelling into the world of science was “a shock that I didn’t expect. Within my first week, I was drowning in terms and literature that I had to spend hours dissecting. I mean, I came from science in high school, but first year biology kicked my ass.”

In her experience, she expressed that the arts did not prepare her for anything science related. That being said, she buckled down and put in the work needed to maintain a high GPA in both her arts studies and the sciences.

And the winner….

You’ll hear it again and again, sciences are better than arts – but take a minute and evaluate that statement. Have you crossed faculties; do you really understand the challenge? Never mind the future career options for either faculty, as long as you do something that fulfills you.

I think people need to sit back and think about what they are saying. Whether you mean what you say or you don’t – no one has the right to judge another by their talents, their interests and their passion.

“Arts degrees will get you nothing but fast food work.” FALSE

“We all know that science students are better than arts students.” FALSE

“Science degrees = real jobs; arts degrees = nothing.” FALSE

“Are you sure that arts degree is going to prove useful?” IT SURE IS!

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