Part of the beauty of college is that, in some cases, we get to learn for the sake of learning. Not every class includes conventionally marketable skills, but marketable skills also aren’t deemed the only valuable currency in academia. That being said, I think there is a notion that someone can’t be an intellectual while being pre-professional; that worrying about jobs and salaries in addition to worrying about academics is somehow an example of selling out, or being small-minded.
There was a recent article that ran under The Sun’s news section, titled “Cornell Student Critique Culture of Careerism.” It was published in news, but given the collective shrieking of students and parents alike, it might as well have been an opinion column with a taste for blown fuses. In it, Erial, a classics student talks about the financial high wire act she’s embraced the moment she switched from studying chemistry and anatomy to Latin. She cites her apathy towards medicine, and the fact that she can’t even stand blood, which is a bit like a computer science major saying they don’t like computers. “That something I’ve accepted for who I am: I am not meant to be a doctor, but it’s okay,” she says, with a sniff of defiance. To be honest, I found it refreshing.