What your major says about you (part 2)

New kink discovered at Duke: Apparently students love to be degraded.

I only say this because after the publication of my last piece, I had a surprising number of individuals complain that I did not aggressively insult their major and thus transitively themselves. In fact, multiple students came up to me and said:

"How could you not include psych?"

"Where was math?"

And "Why didn’t you write about English majors?" (I must admit, this one didn’t actually happen. I would never be friends with an English major.)

So I suppose not only do Duke students have a fetish for degradation, but also are used to being the center of attention ALL THE TIME.

I even had one person DM me on LinkedIn (I didn’t even know this was a feature) and tell me that I was “hella invalid” for not including computer science. Okay, chief. I was also surprised to see this because I had initially thought the only phrases LinkedIn allows you to say are “Congratulations, (insert name),” “So well deserved!”, “Big things ahead!”, and my personal favorite: “I cannot wait to see everything you accomplish.” Give me a break. 

But because so many have now asked that I write about their major, I have decided to go forth with a part two for "what your major says about you."

Let’s get into it.

Computer Science

Sure, computer science (compsci) may be the most popular major at Duke, comprised of the greatest number of students. But despite their large numbers, each and every comp sci major falls into one of two distinct archetypes. First, we have the students who actually like computer science. And for this group, they not only enjoy coding, they live for it. 

"Hey, do you want to go out for lunch?"

"I can’t, I’m coding."

"Hey do you want to — hmmm I don't know — take a shower?"

"I’m coding right now. Maybe in a month."

"What about the beach? We should go to the beach. It’s so beautiful out."

"You mean the one outside with the sand and water and stuff?"

"Ya, that one."


I must applaud this student for your devotion to your craft, and I envy your passion and diligence. You are truly an inspiration. After all, you have shown all of us that you can still be successful without any semblance of a social life, unless you count online relationships with @pinkfairyprincess73.

Now, for the second type of compsci student — of which I am honestly reluctant to even give a platform — we have the most pick-me students at this university. They are born and bred from the same crop as our beloved econ majors, but these folks are different. Or at least, they like to think so. 

Some of them do likely enjoy coding, but don’t be fooled: Their motivation for majoring in computer science has little to do with neither love nor passion. Rather, it is likely they once read a Wall Street Journal or Forbes piece about which majors have the greatest ROI. And the truth is, if they were to be offered a job at Goldman but were told they could never code again, they wouldn’t even think twice. 

Foreign Language

Now, behold: We have our future translators and customer service reps at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I must admit — it is refreshing to see a group of students that for once are not so career oriented and are simply driven by learning. Still, I remain unsure as to why you must spend $80,000 per year to become semi-fluent in a language. After all, 99% of the globe would simply use the internet or textbooks, and they would become fluent in a shorter period of time for cheaper. MUCH cheaper. But hey, you can’t put a price on an experience!

But may I warn you — your decision to major in a language comes at a great cost, not only monetary. From a social perspective, you will likely ostracize yourself from your classmates who absolutely despise your enthusiasm for language as they painstakingly slug out three semesters of their mandatory requirement. I did not say this is fair, but that is simply how it is. 

Still, I wouldn't work yourself up too much over this. Because, at the end of the day, you — and not your Google-Translate-reliant peers — will now be able to write “bilingual” in your Tinder bio.

Forget that, actually. People looking for a one night stand do not care much for sophistication. So perhaps, Hinge is a better place to flex your fluency in German. 


Well, first let’s get the obvious out of the way: You are a cat person. And I suppose that that is all I really need to know about someone to know to not be friends with them. But besides your love of felines, your passion for reading parallels closely to the comp sci major’s (not the fake ones) love of coding. The only difference is that their interpretation of productivity involves building practical applications to advance human progress and yours involves entrapping yourself in fictitious worlds. 

When you are not reading or failing to teach your cat how to play fetch, you are likely thinking of ideas for novels that you will never write or insufferably trying to convince your friends that the book is always better than the movie. 

But how could I fail to mention the poetic elegance by which you communicate? As part of a class assignment, I recently listened to Kevin Quashie, Professor of English at Brown University, deliver a lecture at Duke's 17th Annual Feminist Theory Workshop, which as I am sure you would be shocked to learn was the first feminist workshop I had ever attended. 

My main takeaway from the talk was not that Quashie was brilliant — although he most certainly is — but rather that English majors are professional yappers. 

"The essence of the human body proliferates through the very idiosyncratic representations of the mind and transitory self."

Okay, there’s got to be a simpler way to say that. 

The only thing worse than attempting to understand Quashie was having to sit through the audible and obnoxiously loud "mmmm’s" projected by the English majors in the audience as though they had understood a single word uttered by Quashie beyond "the."

Stop GATEKEEPING the English language. Thank you very much. 


Truthfully, I don’t have much to say about math majors, and that is for two reasons. First off, I am officially emotionally drained after projecting so much negativity onto people I have never met before. And second, I have trouble trying to put myself inside the head of a joyless human robot. No offense, of course.

However, while I do not have many — if any — friends that are math majors, you all do seem like a civil group that keeps to themselves. And, I cannot help but admire or perhaps aspire to be as intelligent as you are — likely the major with the highest average IQ on campus. If only, you could donate but 20 of such points to your EQ score. Then, you would know how to approach a potential love interest without freezing and throwing up on their feet.


I must admit — until recently, I had thought sociology to be some form of athletic training program for Duke basketball players planning to go pro. But apparently sociology is an academic, not athletic program that just happens to be the major of every basketball player and what seems to be over half of Duke’s athletes. But for you NARPs (non-athletic regular people) out there, feel free to hop on the sociology bandwagon as well. It most certainly has its perks. 

The main appeal, of course, is that you should almost certainly graduate with a 4.0 GPA — unless you miss 90% of the classes or you endure a traumatic head injury that reduces your IQ to that of a pumpkin. And even then, you may slip away with an A-. So to you sociology majors, I ask that you please refrain from patting yourself on the back when your shiny new report card comes in. 

Now, unfortunately for this crowd, their high GPAs often go to waste, for not a single employer in their right mind would ever hire a sociology major. Unless of course they too once made the foolish mistake to be a sociology major and have now made it their philanthropic mission to take up the waning souls of those who were misled to believe that the "scientific study of social relationships and institutions" serves any practical benefit in the real world. 

Parting Thoughts

I am aware that I have left out quite a few majors from this piece (sorry psychology majors). But let it be known that if your major was not included, it is simply because I only have incredible things to say about you and your kind. 

Okay, that is a complete lie, I just did not have the time. 

Regardless, I hope that you have enjoyed or at least gotten a good laugh from this piece and its predecessor. Again, please don’t take my words too seriously. At the end of the day, all is written in good fun. 

Alex Berkman is a Trinity sophomore. His column typically runs on alternate Tuesdays.


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