I'm a proud American Studies student at the University of Winchester UK, and I absolutely love my degree.
However, If I had a pound for every time someone raised their eyebrows or gave me a funny look when I told them what my degree is, I'd be rich enough to pay off my student debts.
Usually this gesture is followed with the insincere concern of "What are you intending to do with that degree?", to which my reply is always, "Whatever I want." You see, I honestly don't know what my future holds for me, but I know that with my degree it's about the skill set I inherit and all the many doors this could open. I feel in no way limited to what I could do, my opportunities are vast and varied.
American Studies is a multi-disciplinary subject, meaning I get to do a little bit of everything. I get to look at literature, films, culture, history, politics, you name it, I've probably studied a bit of it. One morning I could be in a lecture about American Conspiracy Theories, and then the next I could be learning about African American culture. I've looked at Americanisation through corporations such as McDonald's and Disney. I've learnt about the Black Atlantic and the Transatlantic slave trade. I've even looked at the portrayal of the American Gothic as well as adaptations between books and films. And that's only a small sample of some of the modules I've had in my three year adventure. It's so varied, I could never get bored.
I strongly argue that I will be leaving university with the same skill set as any other student, whether they're studying English, History, or whatever it may be. I can interpret data, source relevant material, think critically about work, and so much more. My degree hasn't restricted my learning in anyway, and I feel I'll be leaving university very much equal to my peers. Choosing my subject does not make me dumb, it's not 'easier' or 'simpler' than any other degree, there's still the same amount of work required. And it certainly does not make me any less able to achieve as well as any other student.
In essence, what I'm trying to say is that although my degree should not be valued above anyone else's, it should definitely not be valued as any less.
I could never regret choosing my degree. It's been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I've learnt so many fascinating things, met some incredible and inspirational people, and got to experience the trip of a lifetime travelling around Nevada, Arizona and Utah with some fabulous people.
So yes, I did take this subject because I "clearly love America", but I chose it for so much more. Therefore, please stop looking down on me thinking I'm an idiot, or even pity me for my choice, because taking this degree has proved to me that I am capable of doing well in higher education, and that my future will be bright because I'm determined to work hard doing something that I love.
Much love ♥