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Jul 29 2016
by Destiny Abercrumbie

Why It's OK to Choose A Major Outside of STEM

By Destiny Abercrumbie - Jul 29 2016

What's your intended major?

That is the question that is asked on college applications and probably by our college counselor when it comes to talking about school. What is your major? What do you plan to study? Then when you answer, your counselor might give you the, "Oh," expression. In my opinion, college counselors want your major, or what you plan to study, to be a part of S.T.E.M. For anyone that doesn't know what S.T.E.M stands for, it stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I knew that I was scared when I told my counselor that I want to study English creative writing to become a writer, but he actually was proud of me.

You can make a difference in the world without discovering and creating things that can improve the world. In this world, there are not just famous scientists, mathematicians, doctors, nurses, etc., but there are artists, musicians, athletes and other people who are becoming famous and are being recognized for their achievements and the impact that they had made on the world. Here are a few examples:

Maya Angelou 

American poet, memoirist, civil rights activist.

John Locke 

An emphatic follower of the belief that knowledge is needed to be taught. He insisted on teaching of character first and academics later. He was of the belief that good character far exceeds the value of learning to read, write and complete calculations and other uses.

Louis Armstrong 

An African American trumpeter. composer and singer.

John Muir 

A Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.

David Suzuki 

A Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. He is known for his television and radio series, documentaries and books about nature and the environment, host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science program The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations and for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.

Claude Monet 

A founder of French impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature. The term "impressionism" came from the title of his painting Impression, Soleil Levant, that was exhibited in 1874.

Sammy Davis Jr.

An American entertainer. Primarily a dancer and singer, he was also an actor of stage and screen, comedian, musician and impressionist, noted for his impersonations of actors, musicians and other celebrities.

Frank Sinatra

An American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. Sinatra's music has been considered timeless by many. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.


A Greek historian known as the father of history.

David McCullough

An American author, narrator, historian and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.

Mahatma Gandhi

The preeminent leader of the Indian nationalism in British-ruled India.

Here are a few examples, if you know them or not, of people who are known to the world for doing what they are doing, without being a S.T.E.M major or main focus. I did mention some environmentalists, but they were not scientists. You can dabble into S.T.E.M and not major in it for a future career or a hobby. Like me, I'm good at chemistry, but that's not something I want to do as a future career.

I want to be a writer, either a novelist or an online writer. So far I have been doing well, I write for an online publication and have made some stories that have some recognition on the website with reviews from actual people. It may be a long journey before I achieve my dream, but at least it's a start. Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, "Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn." So for all you future artists, fashion designers, anything in the performing and creative arts, athletes, writers, teachers or anyone that's pursuing a career not in science, technology, engineering or math, don't give up on your dream. Even though your peers might think it's weird to follow that path because it probably won't make a difference in the world, tell them that it will make a difference. You might not can tell them how, but you won't know what the future will be like. You might become more famous than your friend who decided to become a doctor or engineer and you became a gymnast or dancer. It's not about who makes the most money, but who is the most successful and is happy with what their future career is.

Lead Image Credit: Jazmin Quaynor via Unsplash

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Destiny Abercrumbie - Bradley University

Hi, everyone! My name is Destiny Abercrumbie, not Abercrombie & Fitch, and I'm a student at Bradley University. My major is English Creative Writing with a minor in Social Media Marketing. I have been writing since I was in second grade, but it didn't become a hobby until fifth grade. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @rhosepoodle

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