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FAQ of an Arts Student

Q: When do you start your graduate position at McDonalds? 

A: How original. Fuck off. 

 

Q: How does it feel being a disappointment to your parents? 

A: See above. 

 

Q: So, what do you actually study? Painting? 

A: Ha. We have a comedian on our hands. You’re thinking of fine arts. A bachelor of arts provides a wide range of fascinating and rewarding areas of study across the arts, humanities and social sciences. 

 

Q: What are you, a walking ad for Arts at Monash? 

A: No, why would you insinuate that? Besides, with the Arts at Monash consisting of a choice of almost 40 different major and minor areas of study, at both Caulfield and Clayton Campus, the places just sell themselves! 

 

Q: Well those places are being sold to future Maccas employees who won’t be able to pay their HECs off, so is that really a good thing? 

A: Arts graduates have a higher employment rate than science, psychology and accounting graduates at Monash. Fight me. 

 

Q: Hmmph, fine. You win that round. But not the LTB scandal. How do you feel about the science students being provided with a 24-hour study space but, despite previous false promises about the LTB, you are not? 

A: Faculty funding bias lives on even in 2018 – just look at the online Arts lectures debacle. And why announce that it’s a 24-hour study space when you get locked out after 5pm? Someone could freeze to death! God! Totally botched handling of the situation. 

 

Q: Wow. You almost made me feel bad for arts students. Key word, almost.  

A: Um, is that a question or a statement? 

 

Q: Ignoring you and moving on. Controversial debate but psychology major: Arts or Science? 

A: *Shakes hands with a psychology major* *Washes hands* But for real, it’s a social science. Whether it’s your major in an arts or science undergrad, the units are the same, and if you get the marks, you can get into honours. 

 

Q: Hmm, sure. There are loads of useless art majors though, right? 

A: Whatever major you chose, you will learn something from the experience. This can include both finding the area of study and profession you are most passionate about, or finding out that you hate your area of study and never want to write another essay on Marxist readings ever again.  

 

Q: I’ve actually never thought about it that way. Maybe I was slightly off on arts students. How do you handle the constant judgement/belittling about your choice of degree? 

A: At the end of the day, it’s your life, not anyone else’s. The people who make you feel like shit for your life choices obviously aren’t happy with theirs. 

 

Q: Do you ever wish you could go back and do a different degree? At least, in terms of job prospects? 

A: Regardless of what degree you choose, you are not guaranteed a job at the end of it if you don’t put in the work, or if you don’t enjoy what you do. There are plenty of law students who ended up dropping out because they realised they weren’t passionate about it, or engineering students who transferred to a different discipline. Just because your friends, family or the internet disagrees with your choice of degree doesn’t mean that you should do what they say. It’s not their life to choose, screw up or succeed in — it’s your own. 

 

Q: Any advice for prospective or current Arts students feeling lost? 

A: If you feel lost about what career or field of interest you want to pursue, in the words of someone much older and wiser than me, “It is better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all.” If you don’t know what you want to do with your life other than get Uber Eats in bed for the next meal, try as many things as possible to work out what you don’t want to do. Get out of your comfort zone: Volunteer, join extra-curricular activities, meet people from different career fields, get internships, travel, even go on an Eat Pray Love journey for crying out loud. You will either narrow down the areas that you hate, or find something you are actually really passionate about along the way. 

 

Q: Where will Arts at Monash take you? 

A: Wherever I want it to take me. A piece of paper alone won’t steer me directly into a nicely packaged grad job, complete with a bow, only I can by my own volition. I’m the captain now. 

 

Joanne Fong

The author Joanne Fong

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