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The 6 Best College Majors (For Filling You With Regret)

Well, the summer's over and for many of you that means it's time to start thinking about picking a college major! Sure, it might seem like a daunting task, but it's only the first step towards determining how happy and successful you will be for the rest of your life. Until you die.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Perhaps, I've been presumptuous. You don't even need a college major if you're independently wealthy. Are you? Then congratulations. You will have a life free of worry, dedicated to middling self-discovery. But for the rest of you without the foresight to have been born incredibly rich, you can take comfort knowing that it doesn't really matter what you do. Working for a living is a sucker's game, and you're pretty much screwed regardless. Still, you have to put something on that damn administrative form, so LET'S PICK A MAJOR!!!

Pre-Med

Why You Chose It

Sure, it involves at least four more years of schooling, but if you're even considering this as an option, you're probably really good at school. Yeah, the loans will be a bitch for a while, but it will all be worth it because you get to care for the sick and make a lot of money. You will be rich in spirit, and in the way that can buy you a boat!

Why You'll Regret It

Our current medical system makes it really hard for a doctor to be rich in either of those ways. Doctors can't use their full discretion in prescribing treatment; they have to stay within an insurance company's conception of what appropriate care is.

Oh, and physicians are making less and less every year. Isn't that awesome? Even the ones who needed 12 years of training, are on call three nights a week and get woken up in the middle of the night to make life and death decisions. Why would we expect those people to be well paid?

But hey, it's worth it because everyone likes doctors. Or they did 50 years ago. Speaking of which, if you're smart enough to be in the top 10 percent of your organic chemistry class you're probably smart enough to invent a time machine and go to a period where doctors were both respected and compensated. And in the meantime, you get to spend four years undergrad and four years post grad taking incredibly hard exams with a bunch of people who also want to be doctors. And what's more fun than spending all your time with people good at science?

Pre-Law

Why You Chose It

You know the best thing about Pre-Law? It doesn't exist. Yeah, there's no such thing. All you need to get into law school is a decent GPA in anything and a good score on the LSAT which is just like the SATs plus one annoying logic section that you can learn how to do in a two week review course.

Pre-Law is just another way of saying, "I have no illusions that my major will yield a high paying job, and plan to use law school as an escape hatch when staring down life as a college professor."

Why You'll Regret It

Being a lawyer sucks in many of the unique ways that being a doctor sucks these days, only there's less job security and everyone hates you. Massive layoffs have saddled countless lawyers with eight years of higher learning, thousands of dollars in student loan debt and no job. So if you were hoping to major in your true passion of 19th Century Ugandan Sculpture and then make everything OK by running off to law school, thereafter, well, you lose because the catch with law school is, after you graduate, you're supposed to become a lawyer.

Communications

Why You Chose It

Look, you get it. No college career is going to spit you out onto the fast track to being a millionaire. Majoring in Communications allows you to achieve the same degree as all your friends while doing, like, half the work.

Why You'll Regret It

Contrary to popular belief, there's one really difficult aspect of being a Communications major: Convincing everyone you're not functionally retarded after they find out you're a Communications major.

There isn't a more eye-rolling, smirk-inducing major than Communications. And hey, maybe those Communications professors really are good at, uh, communicating because the only people who don't seem to know that they've selected a joke major are the Communications majors themselves. I've met some very earnest ones, who speak emphatically about how their school has "the best Communications program in the country." It's sort of adorable. Like a kindergartner who doesn't realize all their classmate's finger paintings got first prize at the art show too.

English

Why You Chose It

Being an English major means you get to wear scarves and sit in the casements of old dormitory windows, intently studying Wordsworth in the light of a crisp autumn sun!

Why You'll Regret It

Three kinds of people major in English: future lawyers who mistakenly think they need to know how to write to be a lawyer; people who want to be writers; and people who can't do math.

Basically, being an English major involves sitting in a room with lots of people who don't want to be there and a few who want to be there way too much. And forget about having deep conversations with your peers about Canterbury Tales. For the most part you're dealing with frizzy-haired, acne-laden girls who first learned about Oscar Wilde from The Smiths.

Oh, but maybe you can put your degree to good use writing for the Internet? Lord knows I never could have earned the big bucks writing that column about wanting to have sex with Gillian Anderson if I hadn't learned that T.S. Eliot's Sweeney Among the Nightingales was inherently racist due to the juxtaposition of something beautiful like a bird against a common Irish name.

Philosophy

Why You Chose It

Seriously? Yeah? OK.

Why You'll Regret It

Here's a question: What's the sound of no hands clapping? Your folks after you tell them they just spent $60,000 for nothing.

Business

Why You Chose It

You want to get rich, and think that college professors and text books hold the secret to untold wealth? You use words like networking without a trace of irony?

Why You'll Regret It

Yeah, I don't really know a lot about this major, but I'm guessing I don't like you already. And that you have your whole life to be a jackass so why not use these four years to learn something? Because I'm pretty sure when you're assistant general manager for EcuMenicaltro Globo-Industries, you won't even have time to think about how the wigwam in Moby Dick symbolizes Tammany Hall or what Nietzsche was getting at with the whole "superman" thing. Hmm. Does that contradict everything I've said before about the value of higher learning? Probably. But I did warn you. You can't win.


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