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Comments on every story like this follow the same predictable pattern. On Digg and Reddit, it's basically: "Haha, dumb liberal arts major! Of course you can't find work in the USA! You deserve what you get because we live in a just and fair world and everyone is responsible for everything that happens to them in life and the consequences of all their decisions!" Some of the comments here are similar, but other comments point out the fallacies in that line of thought. As someone who was a high school valedictorian who wanted to get a CS or business degree, but ended up with a Bachelor of General Studies in English, I've given lots of thought to why students get liberal arts degrees. Most students are unprepared for college-level classes, especially in mathematics. Despite having a perfect GPA in high school, I failed calculus - not because of partying (I didn't drink) but because I was totally unprepared for college-level math after bad high-school math classes. Mental illness is also a major reason why lots of people can't handle the rigors of an engineering or even business degree. According to NIMH, 26% of Americans age 18 or older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder [1]. Also, 40 percent of students have felt too depressed to function at sometime during their college career [2]. Throughout college, I had: never had a girlfriend or even kissed a girl, worried all the time about the end of the world and other potential threats, had never learned how to masturbate, and was concerned over whether God loved or hated me. Now THAT's mental illness! When they have a heavy cognitive load from mental illness, students are less able to deal with challenging classes. Finally, after going through the stress of being being unprepared for college classes and suffering from mental illness, many students end up with humanities degrees because they figure "at least it's a degree in something" and that any degree is better than no degree, because that's the message being broadcast from tons of outlets - guidance counselors, college advertising, college advisors, etc.

[1] http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-coun...

[2] http://www.jedfoundation.com/press-room/news-archive/Student...

> never had a girlfriend or even kissed a girl,

that's sad... because 95% of this liberal-arts hatred is jealousy, because the perception is that the liberal arts types have much more fulfilling social and romantic lives.

you know the joke, 'getting a degree in art and complaining you can't find a job is like getting a degree in computer science and complaining you can't get laid'

That's not a mental illness. That's some sort of an existential crisis. I recommend you stop worrying about problems you can't solve, and start living. It's the only way you will find out what God thinks of you, or whether girls like you, or whether the earth will end.

And everyone is unprepared for college (as they were for high-school, or elementary, or kindergarten, and especially for their first job). The difference is in how they approach it. Personally, I locked myself in the library until I could do Calculus problems blindfolded, and then went to the bar to celebrate with my friends. Your results may vary. Note that feeling persecuted and defeated after you flunk a Calculus test is not a viable solution.

Sorry for being harsh.

I had a lot of other symptoms and was diagnosed with anxiety by a real doctor (not by internet commenters). Plus I had very high scores on inventories that are used to measure anxiety and depression. Also, SPECT and fMRI studies show that people with depression and anxiety have very different brains than people who are mentally healthy, indicating that some people have a baseline level of resilience that's higher than others. And tough love doesn't work. It's just another way to beat up on people who already feel beaten down. I still agree with most of your points, though.

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