Many disheartening ideas surround fine arts: you won’t get a job, if you do it won’t pay well, and you’ll regret it. Between the student debt crisis and the starving artist dilemma, fine arts seems to be a risky choice. However, the horizon is not as bleak as it seems. English alone offers many more jobs than teaching not to mention the plethora of opportunities offered to foreign language, social science, arts and natural science students.
I set out to discover the opinions of students across campus, expecting support from fine arts and disapproval from STEM majors. Instead, I found that STEM majors were more supportive while fine arts majors were more critical.
“You have to consider what worth is, like if you’re happy with what you’re doing,” said Braxton Westbrook, a computer science and political science student.
Even a STEM degree can be worthless to someone lacking the passion to use it.
“It’s the same. If you’re not passionate, you won’t do well or get a job,” said Vaibhav, an electrical engineering doctorate student.
Most criticism was of work ethic and not the degree itself.
“A starving artist just makes art and expects everyone to love it,” Bailey Stephens, a mechatronics engineering student said.
Fine arts majors voiced their concerns.
“Most people go to college to make money, but you won’t get that in fine arts,” Angela Willis, a Creative Writing Graduate student explained.
Overall, art appreciation is not lost. Most students cite watching movies or shows in their free time, praising their favorite actors, actresses, and writers. Further, many STEM majors having hobbies that include writing, drawing or playing an instrument.
The love of arts is clear, although not expressed across majors. Ways to show support on campus are including visiting the Backdoor Playhouse or Bryan Fine Arts events!