“Oh you’re in the College of Arts and Crafts? You must have so much free time.”
I’ve been told that time and time again. Just because I don’t have to stay up until absurd hours in the morning studying doesn’t mean my classes aren’t challenging. I don’t usually have tests, and when I do, they’re in-class essays. Instead, I write a lot of papers and read endlessly. One of the most difficult aspects of being a CAS student is that there is no right answer to my essays and in class, we share opinions and observations.
Coming into my junior year, I was excited about starting to narrow in on my future career. I decided I was going to go to the career fair, which is heavily advertised by the university.
I opened the list of companies that would be in attendance and as I scrolled through, I realized the career fair was not meant for me. With the exception of two, the companies listed were engineering, accounting and finance firms. I was bummed.
Did Lehigh just forget about approximately 30 percent of its students? I thought maybe there would be another career fair for the College of Arts and Sciences, but sadly there isn’t.
The university requires all business students to take BUS 005, a class on resumes, networking and more. The engineering school has a similar requirement called ENGR 005. Even some science majors in the College of Arts and Sciences have a required course like this.
Meanwhile, non-STEM and non-business majors are left to fend for themselves, facing the great unknown of our futures without Lehigh connections placed in our laps.
Every summer, groups of students in the business school embark on journeys across the sea to Shanghai and Prague, participating in internships designed specifically for their areas of study. Lehigh’s new center in Silicon Valley is, once again, advertised and geared toward the business school.
One positive aspect of my experience, though, is that I have had to put in the extra effort of applying to countless companies through LinkedIn, even learning how to make myself a profile.
But I still feel left out — the FOMO is real. I would like the university to see that I am just as employable as the students in the other colleges on campus.
I came to Lehigh to learn things about the world and myself that I would never know otherwise. I’m not here to pull all-nighters studying for a test that won’t matter in five years and have anxiety attacks over the amount of homework I have. Sure, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the rigor of my classes, but I always make sure I take the time to unwind.
The business and engineering colleges focus on assessment through test scores, though many students may not receive a passing grade. They study for days or even weeks, but the tests are not designed for them to do well. A lot of classes end up being curved just so students will pass.
I think this is completely illogical. If college is based around learning and grasping new material, shouldn’t professors take the time to ensure their students understand the concepts they are teaching, rather than simply memorizing them for a test?
I have a lot of respect for those who choose the engineering path and I’m sure none of them would want my schoolwork, just as I would not want theirs.
My goal is to graduate from Lehigh as a well-rounded individual who can take on almost any job. I hope the university can start to give credit and attention to all the unsung staff, faculty and students who make up the College of Arts and Sciences because we haven’t been the Lehigh Engineers for a long time.
Chloe Carroll, ’20, is an associate lifestyle editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]