There can often be a grand divide forced between arts and humanities majors and those of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) fields. The two categories of students seem to be very contrasting, with the humanities students more focused on creativity and analysis and the STEM students more geared towards logic and equations.
It can seem all too easy to try to force all humanities and STEM majors to fit certain stereotypes, but there is a fair amount of overlap between the disciplines that are often overlooked. Speaking as someone who decided to double major in both computer science and English with a creative writing emphasis, the humanities and STEM fields do not have to befall the same fate as the Montagues and Capulets.
Analysis and critical thinking are two traits that are often linked with the humanities majors. For example, literary analysis is a skill that is honed throughout a pursuit of an English degree, and with literary analysis follows improvement in the skill of critical thinking, as well as improvement of writing and research abilities. I am one creative writing class away from completing my English degree and I can state without a doubt that my ability to craft in-depth 15-20 page research papers has greatly improved since arriving at Hope, and my ability to source out useful and relevant references has also been refined.
However, critical thinking is not a skill limited to the humanities. While I have only recently added a computer science major, I have already found critical thinking to be a valuable and necessary ingredient to successful programming. When developing an application for a client, it is crucial to analyze all possible avenues, as computer science is a field focused on gives and takes some programming methods are better in some regards but worse in others, so careful thought must be given toward how to best solve a programming issue.
Creativity is another trait that has been tightly linked with the humanities, but it is in no way absent from STEM endeavors. The creation and continued advancement of cutting edge technology could only get so far without bringing creativity to the drawing boards. If all new gadgets were the same as the old, there would be little reason for consumers to buy into the new technology, but creativity —be it in the marketing team or from the engineers in charge of designing themselves is able to highlight the importance of the new gadgets and convince consumers to switch over.
Although I firmly believe that the humanities and STEMs can coexist in peace, I still tend to feel as if I’m teetering on the border line between my English/creative writing community and my computer science community. One day I will be existing solely in the computer science bubble, attending my programming and architecture classes and advancing those skills, and the next day I’ll slip back into the creative writing bubble, volunteering at Hope’s visiting writers series, working as an editor of The Anchor and creating. Perhaps one day soon, my two worlds will meld into one.