Major shaming happens every day, on every campus, to every major, and it must stop.
I have heard many people say something along the lines of “oh well that major is stupid, mine is so much harder.” The whole point of college is for people to get a higher education in something they are interested in so that they may go work in that field. By insulting a major, the people in that major are also being insulted. Everyone has different strengths and hopefully they have chosen a major that reflects those strengths.
Saying one major is harder than another is ridiculous. Each major has its difficulties and oftentimes, insulting something is the product of simply not understanding it. Saying that engineering is harder than theatre is, to be cliché, like comparing apples to oranges. Perhaps theatre majors do not have as much upper-level math to do, but engineers generally do not have 6-hour rehearsals day in and day out to perfect a show that may only be performed three or four times over the course of a weekend.
Many majors often come with stereotypes and assumptions about the people in them. For example, some equate family studies and nursing with the infamous “Mrs. Degree.” Additionally, there is the huge stereotype of engineers being socially awkward. As with most stereotypes, there are some that fit the mold but there are plenty that do not as well. I know a few engineers, and they are all perfectly social. These stereotypes are often enforced because classes that go towards your major are full of people that are also pursuing that major, so interaction with students in other majors is limited.
People also assume that being a music major is easy. I can tell you from experience it is most certainly not. Some say communications or business degrees are for those who do not have any idea what they want to do. I am sure many of those people know exactly what they want to do, and even if they do not, it is no one’s place to pass judgment on others.
Art majors are often viewed as students who are just confused, in a phase, or still need to grow up. However, the true answer is very simple—they are art majors because they love art, are good at it and know what they can do with it. Similarly, English majors are not hoity-toity book nerds who correct grammar at every possible opportunity. They are talented people, just like everyone else in their respective majors.
The problem of major shaming and assigning stereotypes in general stems primarily from a lack of understanding. I have no earthly idea what exactly criminal justice majors do, but I am not going to discount it by assuming it is silly or ridiculous, because I am sure it is not. It is simply different from my own major. More often than not, these stereotypes are false and give the major in question an unnecessarily bad reputation.
Every person in every major has a reason for being there, and I can almost guarantee that reason is not because the major is easy. People that participate in these stereotypes should be aware that they could appear ignorant. Thankfully, the best way to combat ignorance is always intelligence.