How I got over my faculty stereotype

Every faculty brings something to the table

Students show off their faculty jackets with pride.

I used to think that attending Queens, no matter your faculty, was prestigious in itself. Apparently, I was wrong. 

Before I even stepped foot onto campus there was a preconceived notion that I was going nowhere with my life.

I’m currently in Arts and Science, and as many undergraduates at Queen’s know, that comes along with the stereotype that I’m lazy, not as intelligent (to put it lightly) and most likely going to end up working a sub-par job. At least, that’s what I was told in my first few weeks at Queen’s, hung over me as a taunting shadow. 

These obnoxious stereotypes started when I began to complain about work or talked about how much class I had. With every claim I made it was discredited by someone else saying something along the lines of “how can you be busy, you’re in Arts” or “Arts is the easiest program here to get into, I’m sure it’s not that bad.”

It was like I was at a lower level than someone else who’d been accepted into the same school, all because of the direction I’d chosen for my undergraduate degree. The worst part was that with enough seemingly harmless comments like these, I started to believe it.  

I began questioning myself when courses got hard, really wondering if I was actually meant to be at Queen’s. As I struggled through my first-year economics course and many of my commerce economics friends did well, it became obvious to me just why I wasn’t succeeding. It was because I was in Arts, and because I simply wasn’t as smart. I constantly put myself in this mindset, damagingly pushing myself to work harder just so I could prove to everyone that I do belong here and that the Arts stereotype is BS. 

But I was going about tackling the stereotype in the wrong way. It’s not about working hard to prove the theory wrong, but rather it’s about understanding its ridiculous components. The reason we’re broken up into faculties is because everyone specializes in something different, which is actually pretty cool. 

A nursing student is confident enough to get a job right after their undergraduate, and an engineering student is ready to take on the empirical world of math and science by applying it to create amazing things. A PheKin student strives to help others understand more about their health, and an Arts student tackles difficult concepts and theories about society through lengthy term papers. A science student will sit for hours memorizing molecules or muscles, and a computer science student will stare at a computer screen continuously coding. 

We all have specialized talents at Queen’s that may or may not lead us to a job, and may or may not lead us to make a huge difference. It doesn’t mean that someone is smarter than someone else or guarantees them any sort of superiority over another person. All it means is that we all have an expertise that guides us in a certain direction at Queen’s. 

The only person you need  to prove just how capable you are of something is yourself, and no one can tell you otherwise. As long as you’re passionate and determined, you can do anything with your life and be successful at it. 

It might have taken me a while to realize this, but it was liberating once I had. I let go of what people thought about me and continued striving for success. It’s all about taking our ideas and running with them — not degrading ourselves to those stereotypes that confine us. 

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