Life in the humanities can be a struggle sometimes. Whether it is your parents who do not support what you are doing, or friends who think you should studying something more “reliable,” majoring in this field brings along headaches. I understand. As a matter of fact, there are several groups of people who understand the self-doubt that starts to build when people, who you thought were your biggest supporters, become your fiercest obstacles. I say this in the most respectful way possible since these people mean so much to me, but in all honesty, no one should stand in the way of you and your happiness or success. I am learning that there are many people who have felt the same way and are now thriving in their respective fields.

This past Monday, I facilitated a workshop for Project MyStory titled, ‘What are you going to do with that major? Life in the Humanities’. Much to my surprise, I think I ended up needing to hear the panelists’ words of encouragement more than anyone in the room! Don’t get me wrong, I love what I am studying and do not believe I will change my major anytime soon, but after having had a difficult week before the workshop, with an even more strenuous week ahead of me, I was starting to get worn down by the stresses of life.

During this workshop, groups of people, from different fields within the humanities, came together and shared their personal experiences, and what key moments lead them to where they are now. Faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students from our Linguistics, East Asian Studies, English, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies departments, shared why they think that life in the humanities is awesome. They offered us words of advice and resources we can use to feel more comfortable and empowered with the idea of switching over to the “the dark side”. In truth, this side is my shining light. The positivity and passion that flowed throughout the room was touching and reassuring. It is amazing to see what sharing your story can do for others who are going through a rough patch in their life or are feeling confused.


Many students wonder what they can do with a liberal arts degree and do not realize that one can pursue various careers when they graduate. The truth is, there is not just one career to go into when you major in the humanities; one can go to law school, work for various companies, news agencies,  publishing, education, and much more.

Faculty member, Dr. Susanna Fessler, who joined us that night, said “Employers are looking for critical thinking skills that you obtain in college… College is just like ice-cream and your major is just what flavor you get it. What’s important is, that at the end of the day, you have ice-cream, so you might as well choose a flavor you’ll be happy eating!”

Everyone shared a laugh and nodded in agreement. We all understood that, no matter what, you should be happy with what you choose. After that night, my thought was this, “If you’re happy and truly passionate about what you to do, success can’t be too far behind.”

Check out this chart from the University of Illinois:


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories – their voices.
About the Author:
Leo 1.jpg
Leobianny H.
Class of 2019
Majors: English & Communication
Past Workshop & Blog Theme:
Embracing the Uncomfortable
Current Blog Theme:

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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