Why History Matters

There are two types of reactions that I have received from people whenI tell them I am a history major: “ew, I hated that in high school” (along with your minor, Economics),or, “that is awesome, I love history too.” To the first response, I often ask whether or not their high school history course was taught by a football or some other dominant high school sport coach.More often than not, the answer is yes, and the class was boring as hell. If they did not have a coach as their teacher, and are generally not interested in history, I am often at a loss for why their interest in history is not as deep as mine. On the contrary,when I find a like-minded fan of history the discus-sion immediately turns to what our preferred time period or style of history is. Personally, my favorite area to study isAmerican history of the early to mid 20th century variety. I believe this era offers up one of the best snapshots of the American expansion onto the global stage and sets the course for the next century of American history.Alas, history is not just the study of what has been, when it happened, and why. History teaches its students more skills than they ever could imagine learning.Soft skills like learning to write concisely, how to give both formal and in-formal presentations, or reading for key information are all taught simply by participating in his-tory classes. These skills,more so than knowing when the Declaration ofIndependence was issued, are what make his-tory a truly fantastic major for anyone remotely interested in what happened before our time.

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