Dear people who think I wasted my time doing a History degree

I usually receive a pretty similar reaction when I tell people I did a History degree.

“Oh, what are you going to do with a degree in History?”

“Do you want to teach?”

“I hated History.”

Like, O K, C O O L  S T O R Y  B R O.

Open your minds a little bit please. It always reminds me of days when I would unpack my sandwiches at school to find mum had put tuna in them. Fine with me, I liked it, but everyone would make comments, “ew,” and just general facial expressions of disgust. Please get over yourselves, I’m not asking you to eat it. In the end, I asked mum to stop making me tuna sandwiches because if people behave like that it puts you off of your food.

It’s the same with my degree but you aren’t going to put me off. I completed it and I’m proud of what I achieved. I’m not asking you to read a really long History book on the success of Elizabeth I against Catholics, nor am I going to recite the events of the Battle of Hastings – neither of which I actually studied. Hell, I don’t think I actually read that many books cover to cover over the 3 years any way – sorry Mark and Sinead!

My point is, stop turning your nose up at my life choice – thanks.

Thursday 15th March 2018

I went to an interview on Thursday (last week) for a job I’m not entirely keen on but really considered as my ticket out of my current place F I N A L L Y.

It was supposed to be a group interview, so when a few of us worked out we would be together, we got chatting to break the ice.

Naturally, asking what I’d studied at university came up when I mentioned I’d just graduated. The response from one guy, is as follows…

“History’s in the past. It doesn’t affect my life.”

L O L, O K A Y

Stop right there mate, that’s wrong.

I know everyone’s entitled to their opinion and opinions can’t categorically be wrong but this is, ok.

I decided to just do one of those polite retail laughs that you give to the old guy who comes into your work, telling his bad dad jokes, “here again, eh?” or “Do you just sleep here?” or “Bet you wish you could be outside in the sun instead!”

Yes Paul, I bloody well do and your jokes don’t get any funnier, week after week.

So any way, this boy was wrong. Correct, history’s in the past. Incorrect, it doesn’t affect your life. It HAS affected your life and it will continue to do so.

  • That war that altered the country and your life.
  • That decision to have a Parliament, not just a monarchy, altered your life.
  • That King that made divorce possible, altered your community.
  • That law passed to say women could vote, altered your life.

That news story, last week, that day we voted out of the EU, the day Steve Jobs thought about a piece of fruit becoming one of the biggest tech companies in the world, including the product you’re probably reading this blog on – that’s HIS device. That’s HIS piece of history. THAT piece of history altered YOUR life. You might still be listening to music on an MP3 player or a Sony Walkman if iPods hadn’t become a thing.


A.k.a, it has affected your life thus far, and will continue to do so.

My degree might surprise you

I’m not aiming to bully you into enjoying history, or even take an interest in it. Hell, there were times when I decided I hated doing a History degree, but just please don’t be so narrow minded.

I don’t expect you to ask for details about all my modules, just don’t be rude because I worked bloody hard to gain my degree, just like any other student. And actually, if you did ask, you might find out some things. I mean, I did a module called ‘Popular Culture, Aesthetics and History’, even a whole lecture on NWA!

There was a lecture in which we spent a whole hour talking about Beyonce’s Superbowl 50, 2016 performance, or there was the time we talked about Eurovision – thanks Nikkita. There were the times we had to produce exhibitions, in which I talked about Banksy’s work and in another, looked into tampon advertising throughout history (100% more interesting than it sounds, it got a lot of discussions going! I’m actually going to include some of the images that I used within my exhibition, down below.)

(I wrote this blog post last week and apparently, I didn’t bother to finish it…good one last weeks Ellie, annoyed at my own HISTORY now.)

My whole point is, why do we make people feel crappy about their life choices, even if we don’t mean to, why can’t we just act or actually BE supportive? I know most people aren’t trying to demean my degree but when you get certain comments constantly, it doesn’t feel great. Take interest in my degree or don’t but please be polite. It’s hard enough to have graduated with a Humanities degree that could take you in any direction  you want, especially when you don’t know what direction you want to go in yet, so please don’t add to the knock backs.

Yours Sincerely,

History graduate who’s doing her best!




Like how fucking rude are these, it sparked lots of conversation for sure!!

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