The cultural war between STEM and liberal arts is still on. It’s been going on for quite a while by now, and there’s still no universal answer as to whether humanity needs, well, humanities in today’s tech-driven world.
Anyway, academia lives by its own rules: The aim of higher education is and has always been to provide students with more than just practical skills. This is, by all means, a noble aim, but many tech students just don’t get the point.
Given the current situation in the workforce and the typical mindset of a tech student, most of them find it very hard to deal with liberal arts subjects. Still, there’s no escaping that if they want to get a degree.
So, what can STEM students do to make studying humanities less daunting? Well, there are several ways. Let’s take a closer look.
The Easiest Way: Ask for Help
First of all, let’s make it clear: There are more ways than one to approach the problem. There is a long road that we’re going to talk about later on, but there is also a shorter one. If you are a die-hard tech fan that doesn’t want to deal with liberal arts, or you simply don’t have enough time to travel the long road, the short one may be the best.
What we mean here is using an online essay helper or a tutoring service for assistance. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with that if you don’t want or don’t have the time to struggle with “non-practical” disciplines and spend hours on end on essays. Except that, maybe, by not doing that, you’ll make yourself less “well-rounded”.
But if you are willing to make the most out of your higher education and are ready to give liberal arts a chance, here’s how you can do it.
The Longer Road
Understand the Importance of Humanities
One of the main reasons why tech students have problems with humanities is that they don’t consider them to be worth their time. “Why — they think — should I be wasting hours on these useless subjects that don’t have any practical meaning?”.
And indeed, the practical meaning of such disciplines as history or philosophy may not be obvious. But it doesn’t mean that there’s no meaning to them at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
So, if you want to make humanities easier for you to study, you should start with understanding their value and importance, even — or, maybe, especially — in today’s tech-driven world. It’s much easier to learn something that you know has meaning than to spend your time on seemingly pointless assignments.
…And How They Can Be Useful in Your Career
When you’ve come to terms with the idea that studying humanities is not a waste of time, you can move on to the next level. And it’s understanding how learning these disciplines in general and the peculiarities of, say, linguistics in particular can be beneficial for your future.
First of all, you become equipped with soft skills. You’ve probably already heard that these skills are super-important for every professional entering the workforce. But have you thought that studying humanities can help you acquire them?
Well, here are just a few soft skills that are extremely important for every employee, manager or entrepreneur alike, that can be developed while studying liberal arts:
- Reasoning and critical thinking
- Communication skills
- Empathy, and more.
You see, there’s no escaping the fact that you need humanities to be successful — unless you want to remain a junior developer forever!
Read a Lot
Now, when you understand the meaning and the practical use of liberal arts, it’s time to broaden your horizons in order to make studying these subjects easier for you. And the best way to start doing this is by reading.
It doesn’t really matter much where you start from — classical literature, modern non-fiction or philosophical works. Just be sure to read something that has ideas, not just an engaging plot, and think thoughts about what you read.
As you develop a reading habit, you can pick more complicated written works with more complex ideas. After a while, you’ll eventually learn to understand and analyze them and even develop your own opinions. When you do, you’ll know you nailed it.
Learn To Appreciate Art
The same applies to all works of art and content types, not only literature. Choose whatever you like the most — painting, architecture, music, theater, cinema. Every true work of art has ideas behind it, and all you need to do is to take the time to look for them in it.
Some ideas are right there on the surface but others are not so obvious. When you like a certain work of art but are unsure about its meaning, look for it in critical works — in books or professional reviews in the media.
The more you analyze works of art and the more you read about them, the better you’ll learn to understand them by yourself.
Make Friends With Liberal Arts Students
Finally, remember that studying humanities is all about discussion. So, be sure to participate in discussions in class, and to get even more practice, make friends with liberal arts students.
As humanities are what they’re majoring in, they most likely enjoy discussions just for the sake of them. So, you’ll always be able to talk about a film or a book that you like (or dislike) with a competent friend and test your arguments.
In the article above, you’ve seen the six ways that you, as a tech student, can deal with humanities. It is only for you to decide if you choose to travel the long road, which implies learning to appreciate humanities and their value, or a short one — that is, asking for help.
You can also combine our tips at random. Whatever you do, remember, that the discourse is changing, and humanities are worthwhile.