Opinions

Humanities are for Pre-meds, Too

March 22, 2016

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Premed majors have it tough. Freshman year, we begin with a workload that involves adjusting to college, learning to live away from home, and for many of us who breezed through high school, having to study like never before just to maintain an A or a B average. Besides studying the subjects in our major, like Bio 111 or General Chemistry, we end up taking classes that are part of the core curriculum, stuff like English composition, history, or music appreciation. While we take these classes, I often hear my classmates complaining about having other classes outside their major, and I’m just as guilty of this behavior as they are. But over the course of freshman year and sophomore year, I’ve grown used to this process and actually enjoyed having the diversity so much that I believe that every pre-med major should add a minor in the field of humanities.

My first encounter with humanities at MC was during the Honors Program. At first, the program was incredibly hard to adapt to for me. The content was hard, and the professors really expected a lot of you. However, I couldn’t really complain about the difficulty knowing I had elected to take a harder set of classes. Today, I definitely think that staying in Honors was the best thing I could’ve done for myself at MC. I think it was such a good decision because it gave me an appreciation for the humanities without any room to complain about having to take classes outside my major. I learned a lot about various aspects of literature, tons about the history of world civilizations, and how to finally write like a college student. Since then, I’ve added a history minor. In all of this, I discovered something crucial to growing up and being an adult.

Once we graduate from college and from medical school and move into the world as doctors, we can’t have conversations with people around us about biology, chemistry, and the human body. We have to be able to talk to our peers in life about other things that they might be familiar with. I’ve found that studying the humanities has provided me with the ability to always have a topic for conversations. More importantly, when meeting people of high repute or position, it’s given me the chance to seem much more well-rounded and intelligent. It lets me talk to them about things they have an interest in while allowing me to present them with information that shows them what I know. I guess an easy way to describe it would be to say that it makes me seem cultured. This is great for interviews, social events like dinner parties, or even making yourself a little more interesting on dates.

Besides the long term benefits, there are clear short term benefits to adding a humanities minor. The best one for me is usually that I get to give my brain a break from science. After a long day of studying for Cell Biology or Organic Chemistry, taking a moment to read for my history classes is refreshing. I don’t feel guilty about not being productive because I’m getting work done that’s providing my brain with change. This new input of information not related to my major subject provides the brain with a break and some scientists even claim that it makes studying the original subject more effective. Having a minor completely removed from the field of science also makes your medical school application much more interesting as it shows that you are unique and simultaneously shows schools that you are able to handle two totally different topics well which is a trait well desired in doctors. These short term benefits aren’t all academic either. People all around us use humanities to make arguments. Politicians, the media, and ordinary people use history and literature; the media uses these every day to support their arguments. Having a grasp on any subject in the humanities field means that we are more likely to understand what these people around us are saying, and it makes sure that we can hold them accountable in case they misuse the information they present.

I believe that having a minor in the field of humanities is truly crucial to pre-med majors. It makes us unique, prepares us for a life full of conversation with people who aren’t science majors, and makes us well-rounded individuals. It distinguishes us when it comes time for medical schools and shows them that we can handle the pressure of being in the medical field while maintaining other interests. Humanities also give us the ability to distinguish when certain events, facts, or ideas are being used incorrectly in arguments presented to us throughout our lives. These benefits are indispensable, and for these reasons, every pre-med major should add a humanities minor.

Srimadhav Nallani, Contributing Writer

this article appeared in Vol. 97, Issue 10 of The Mississippi Collegian

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