The Difficulty Debate

Starting into my second year as a pre-health professions student, and my third year at Concordia, I’ve learned several things, chief among them gaining the ability to refer to a group of people as Cobbers without breaking out laughing (Trust me, it’ll come). So Cobbers, let me tell you something else I’ve learned; it’s that no major is definitively more difficult than another.

I’ve sat through countless debates about what majors are the hardest, which take the most effort and commitment, and which majors are supposedly the “easy” ones. Each path provides different hurdles, uniquely challenging and time consuming.

Every discipline has a “weed-out” course, one that will test a student’s commitment to their chosen field of study. Be it aural skills, organic chemistry, or business’ accounting (regarded as one of the most difficult entry-level courses at Concordia). I myself have stumbled through o-chem, but would be horrified to face some of the classes math majors face. A friend of mine is reading a textbook titled “A Gentle Introduction to Game Theory” that would cause me many sleepless nights. Some of these very math majors would be reviled to face an upper-level English class and combat the mountains of reading and composition that would accompany them. Difficult courses are also not the only form of hardship a student will face; many will be instead challenged by the sheer amount of time devoted to their major.

For example, music majors are often teased as taking the easy way out, singing or playing instruments instead of studying. However, to accomplish their goals, these individuals will spend countless hours over their years at Concordia spent in the solitary confinement of the practice room, refining their craft, then engaging that art in any number of ensembles. Many of their classes are only 2 credits, to keep them from overloading each semester. Many science majors face a similar frustration in the many hours of labs they must juggle, receiving no extra credit spent doing field research or experiments. It’s a well-known fact that many medical schools expect incoming students to have balanced three or more labs in one semester along with their academic and social lives.

So please, spare me the lamentations over how hard your life is. Trust me, I believe you. You’ve probably spent enough time on your major to justify it, however so has the psych major next to you, or the environmental science major next to her, and the religion major she’s texting. There’s no one major that sits atop a pedestal of difficulty that awards you a special certificate upon graduation. Nope, we all just get degrees.


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