What’s Your Major?:Why You Should Study History at University
Study What You Love, Let Your Passion Lead You.
It is not uncommon to be sat round a table with adults and be asked why I chose to study history at university, it is normally the precursor to the even more awkward question ‘what are you going to with that degree after university?’ My knee-jerk response is normally to laugh awkwardly and say that I really don’t know.
I always knew when it came to university applications that I wanted to study history. I never doubted that for a moment. I didn’t have some huge five-year plan mapped out ahead, but I had always been my favourite subject during my school career and it was a relief to get to after those oh-so-difficult biology classes! I never struggled with history as a subject, I don’t think many people do. Yes, dates can be a pain to remember but the facts are often quite interesting and easy to remember once you start to look at events in detail. I think that I grasped the subject quite well because I find people interesting and that’s essentially what history is. Why did people and countries do the things they did? What were their motives? Was it strategic or personal? Some periods of history can get about as complicated as a Prison Break plot and just unravel so much detail and intrigue that you become completely engrossed in the subject, or at least that’s what I find.
There are many reasons that I think more people should pick history, here are my top three:
1. It really is a good degree to have, you gain a wide variety of literary and research skills that employers love – or at least that’s what I have been led to believe!
2. You learn about people. And more often than not you can relate to it, whether you have visited that battle site, or you had relatives involved in a political event that they told you about – you can always find something that relates to you no matter how small, even if it’s the fact that your favourite colour happens to be the colour of royals in a country you may never even of heard of!
3. There are an unbelievable number of bizarre historical facts that will come to light during your time at university. They may be hilarious, heart-wrenching or even horrifying but they will keep your brain ticking over that little bit longer. At this point in time my favourite has to be that King Henry III of England kept a polar bear in the Tower of London and let it swim in the Thames River – Crazy!