14 Inconvenient truths about what you really learn in college

14 Inconvenient truths about what you really learn in college

VicesJune 02, 2016

Higher education is a daunting journey intended to prepare you for what lies ahead in this bleak job market and delapitated economy. Don't worry though, all is well if you simply realize what you're supposed to learn when you sign up for your college major. We've taken some of the most popular majors and boiled them down to their essence. In four years this is all you're exepcted or need to learn. 

Economics

What you're supposed to learn: Economics is a quantitative, policy oriented social science has a range of real-world applications....yada, yada, yada, theoretical models ... behavior of individuals.... JUST REMEMBER SUPPLY EQUALS DEMAND.

What you really learned: Economics is less science and more common sense. You don't actually need a graph to understand that the supply of single, attractive, and promiscuous girls at a party combined with the supply of free alcohol is directly proportional to the aggregate demand for the party.

Mathematics

What you're supposed to learn: Nothing too exciting. Math is really one of those majors to give you a foundation for something better and more practical like engineering or physics.

What you really learned: Always look for the shortcut. All of your math classes follow the same formula: spend all year solving a bunch of lengthy and complicated problems, only to have your professor tell you on the last day that someone named Descartes discovered a simple formula 300 years ago that makes all the work you learned this semester pointless. FML.

Launguage

What you're supposed to learn: You'll be fluent in at least one of history's great languages. As you learn the language of another country, you will also learn their culture and traditions. Ultimately, by your graduation, you'll be able to represent yourself as a citizen of the world and not just America.

What you really learned: It's the best excuse for traveling abroad. Tell your parents that multiple trips to Europe are pretty much mandatory if you want to succeed in your major. Obviously, the best way to decide if you want to be a language major is to sleep with someone from that country. If you have a good experience, you've found your major – and where to build your vacation house.

Physics

What you’re supposed to learn: People are using physics in their jobs in many unique and exciting ways today—ways you might not even imagine!... An asset manager? A video game designer? A fashion technologist? All with physics educations! Don’t blow your load just yet, because we’re pretty sure you can do better.

What you really learned: Firstly, that everyone in the CU physics department should take some creative writing courses. Secondly, you learned that using your fluid dynamics class you can calculate the wind resistance, drag, and velocity to make the perfect beer pong shot. You also learned you cannot calculate for double vision and the “shoulder lean.”

History

What you're supposed to learn: You will be an informed and effective world citizen, with knowledge and wisdom aimed to continually help shape and define the world we live in - within the community of historians.

What you really learned: History taught you that you shouldn't repeat your drunken mistakes from last night – but as history has also proven, you probably will.

Business

What you're supposed to learn: In CU's business program, eager students will be trained to be the future corporate leaders of America, who will practice business not for self interest but with compassion and selflessness to help those less fortunate.

What you really learned: Those Enron guys were really onto something when it came to creative accounting. When your costs are X but the money your parents are willing to give you is only Y, then it is the time to fall back on your accounting class and think outside the box: re-label your alcohol and drug costs under your food budget, put down all your hip-hop concert tickets as guest speakers from the Cultural Events Boards, and remember that your triple deluxe Comcast movie package is actually wireless  internet to do your schoolwork. Viola!

Psychology

What you're supposed to learn: Elegantly referred to as “the study of the soul,” you will learn how the human mind works. This involves understanding the role of cognitive functions in an individual, social behavior, and also exploring the underlying physiological and neurological processes. Also, all psychology majors should thank Prof. Lawrence Cole for deftly adding a healthily dose of statistics to the major in 1920.

What you really learned: That your roommate is certifiably insane. While he appeared normal before moving into the house, the first night of partying, he freaked out and he told everyone in the house how lame and pathetic they were. Then he said he was going to hang out with cooler friends, and then left the house. Then at 4am, he leaves everyone a voice mail, saying, “I will break all the bones in your body for abandoning me tonight!” Fun times.


Anthropology

What you're supposed to learn: How the historical patterns of society and culture as biological beings overlap through time to create intellectual bridges between ecology and evolution, power and practice, globalization, and landscape and space.

What you really learned: On Saturday nights, at some point, all college students will revert into what is scientifically known as the Human Animal. This occurs in males and females alike when the proper amount of alcohol mixes with a long sexual dry-spell. Simply put, our animal instincts take over. Males will try to establish their alpha dominance by showcasing their drinking abilities. However, if the other males are not dissuaded by one male's two story beer bong, then he will challenge the others to physical combat to settle the matter. The females at this time will be looking for a long term mate, however, if no suitable males appear, then she will try and attract the most capable male to satisfy her immediate needs.

Environmental Studies

What you're supposed to learn: You will be able to see and understand the complex factors relating to human interaction with the environment. In doing so, you will become acutely aware of the fact that environmental problems have both human and biophysical components. Understanding environmental change is the cornerstone of understanding global sustainability.

What you really learned: First, that your professor smokes more ganja than you do. Second, with the planet at stake, you should never contribute to unnecessary waste and this includes leftover booze. The vodka cranberry sitting on your counter top that was poured at 3am last night still needs to be drank in the morning for the planet's sake. Third, after declaring environmental studies as your major, you are not allowed to have friends who ever watch the Glenn Beck Show.


Philosophy

What you're supposed to learn: Philosophy is the stone on which to whet your intellectual axe. You'll receive a strong grounding in the skills of logic, use of language, the assessment of evidence, and an unmatched ability to use the word facetious in a sentence.

What you really learned: Philosophy classes are not as fun as advertised. What sound like entertaining classes with spirited debate, are actually professors droning on  about formulas of rhetoric that remind you why you dropped advanced calculus. If you enjoy these classes enough to graduate in philosophy, then congratulations; you will now officially be able to provide unbelievably long-winded answers to very simple questions which will annoy all of your friends, but occasionally blow the mind of a random stoner.

Engineering

What you're supposed to learn: Learning is fun because you're on an exciting new frontier where anything is possible. Incidentally, you're also required to learn at least one nerdy engineering joke:
Q. When talking to an engineer, how can you tell an extroverted one from and introverted one?
A. An extroverted engineer will look at your shoes rather than their own when talking to you.

What you really learned: That you will remain a virgin throughout college.

Chemistry

What you're supposed to learn: You will gain the scientific foundation for a successful career in many exciting fields and industries such as biotechnology, health care, environment, oil and gas, and electronics. After four academically painful years, the world will be your oyster (after grad school of course).

What you really learned: While chemistry is the foundation for any chemical engineer, the chemistry lab serves as a fantastic black market testing ground. Want to test your drugs to see if they’re pure? Want to make drugs? Need supplies? The chemistry lab has all the supplies you need, and more than one chemistry student has tapped into the abundance of free ethanol. But perhaps most important, you finally figured out why putting a Mentos in a Coke bottle will cause it to explode.

Political Science

What you're supposed to learn: A degree in political science will provide you with knowledge and understanding of political issues and prepare you for a career in fields such as law, politics, and international affairs.

What you really learned: How to be a great bullshiter. You picked the perfect major, because all the classes are general and easy in a non-technical sense, yet obscure enough to make you sound intelligent to any layman. You'll pick-up just enough jargon from your classes to make you a certified expert on politics, foreign policy, economics, race relations, law, history, and anything else our bush-league writer failed to list.

Theatre and Dance

What you’re supposed to learn: You’ll develop concrete skills in performance and choreography, and gain an appreciation of the role that dance plays in history and culture. Your areas of expertise will include: modern dance, ballet, African, jazz, and hip hop. 

What you really learned: How to do the “Soulja Boy Crank That,” and “the Eagle,” as you break it down on the dance floor!