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Just Because I Don’t Do STEM, Doesn’t Mean I Am Stupid

Just over three years ago, the Philippines implemented their new K to 12 program, which is basically the same program that all countries follow except for Angola and Djibouti. With this new program, students are given a choice to choose from the Academic, Sports, Arts and Technical-Vocational-Livelihood tracks; however, some Philippines schools only offer the Academic track. This track has four strands underneath it: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM); Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS); and General Academics (GAS).

Having just become an 11th grader, I was given the choice to choose my strand- I chose humanities and social sciences. Since the school year started, I and other students under this strand have received the somewhat backlash and prejudice for choosing this strand. Because it is called humanities and social sciences, this includes subjects like world religion, political science and research; this does not mean that we do not have math or science. It needs to be clear that HUMSS students or other students not under the STEM or ABM strands did not choose their particular strand “to avoid math” or because “they’re not good in science.” Subjects are not as easy as everyone thinks just because we don’t have to compute for things or constantly have to memorize formulas. We are reading academic works, writing different kinds of papers and researching on every topic possible.

“What kind of job will you have if you’re just a HUMSS student? There’s not much money in those jobs.”

Humanities students can have any job they want. Humanities and social sciences is so flexible that it touches on different fields and basically gives students a background on different subjects from science as well as math. The thinking that students could only be teachers or politicians or lawyers is so limiting and unlikely that it’s almost comical. Working has, is and should never be about money- there is so much more that go into it like passion, happiness, dedication. I don’t have to be anything just because I’m a humanities student.

“I’m not expecting a lot from you since you’re just in HUMSS.” – A physics teacher

“Oh, so that’s why you took HUMSS.” – An earth and life science teacher

“Why are you stressed? Aren’t you just in HUMSS?” – A STEM student

“Well, if you take HUMSS, the only good job you’ll have is in teaching or becoming a lawyer.” – A father

Unfortunately, these assumptions and remarks are not new to any student interested in things other than science or math.

Families, teachers, students, institutions, the government have all looked down upon these creative minds.

From my experience, just looking at my classmates, we are such a diverse group of people with different interests and personalities and humanities and social sciences has given us avenues for self-expression and self-discovery. We may be of different backgrounds with different outlooks on the future, but we’ve all come together because we want to make more than just money when we get a job one day. The subject might be unconventional, but that’s what makes creativity creative. All in all, we just want equal treatment and respect from everyone because we’re not just humanities students.

If you are a HUMSS student, then you’re honestly amazing because how do you deal with all the research papers and writing? If you’re struggling under the opinions of others, just know that you’re not alone and that in a few years, you’ll have a job that you’ll love and the opinions of others won’t even matter; also, watch Dead Poet’s Society because it has one of the best quotes ever said by John Keating that we can all relate to.

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” -Ella Jane Fitzgerald

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Gabrielle Mendoza
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gabby is a 16 year old writer and occasional musician. gabby is probably interested in the same TV show, music, movie, video game or artist as you are. knock knock. who's there?

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