Here is a short op ed by LMC student Emma Ryan, originally published in Georgia Tech's The Technique, on February 26.
Every Liberal Arts student at Tech has been there at one point (or many points): you’re hanging out with a group of perfectly nice people and then, inevitably, the conversation turns to school and majors, and then, before you get a chance to mumble that you’re LMC, INTA, HTS, etc., the jokes about liberal arts and Ivan Allen College start flying.
I still don’t quite understand why the STEM crowd continues to labor under the delusion that we’re the perfect butt for their jokes, but if you’re a member of that group, I’m here to remedy your misperceptions.
Here are six common myths about LMC, addressed.
(Also, many of these probably apply to Liberal Arts students in general at Tech, but being LMC myself, I can’t speak to the other IAC majors specifically).
Myth #1: LMC majors don’t exist. Yes we do, and we’re proud of it. Though we may be few in number, we are mighty.
LMC stands for Literature, Media, and Communication (not CommunicationS), by the way.’
Myth #2: They don’t know what they want to do. This might have some truth to it in that LMC is a beautifully broad major that gives you lots of options and opportunities to explore.
But plenty of us come into the major knowing exactly what we want to do, or we choose to have options, and not be pigeonholed into a single industry or career.
Myth #3: They weren’t smart enough to do anything else. On the contrary, most of us are in LMC because we wanted to be in LMC.
Many of us could have gone to a more traditional liberal arts school if we had so desired, or chosen a more technical major. Many of us went to STEM-heavy high schools.
But we all chose to do something off-the-beaten path for our own reasons, and they’re good ones: we wanted a more technical background, or we wanted to do all the things, or it just fit a specific career goal the way nothing else did.
Myth #4: They’re all girls. Nope. This is Georgia Tech we’re talking about, after all.
Myth #5: They don’t learn useful hard skills / they won’t be able to get a “real” job. The ability to communicate never goes away. And Robin Williams said it better than I: “words and ideas can change the world.” They’re called “humanities” because they speak to something fundamentally human— something that we need to hold on to.
In more practical terms, LMC is a lot more than just an English major — it covers everything from film to technical communication to information design to video production to journalism. There are very few other majors that give you so many options to curate your classes to what you want to do, whether you’re interested in social media, pre-law, or film production.
The options are virtually endless, and you pick up a host of skills — writing well and speaking well, to start with — that will only become more and more vital as the world gets more technical. (When a computer replaces you in a few years and the only person who still has a job is that weird liberal arts student you knew in college, you’ll understand what I mean.)
Also, like most Tech students, LMCers are generally talented, passionate, intelligent people who are likely to succeed no matter what they do.
Myth #6: LMC is easy. While we may not be solving equations, conducting experiments, or writing a program, the difficulty of LMC comes from thinking a lot about big things (the biggest things— life, love, etc.) and then finding a way to articulate them; from dealing more often with abstracts than with anything concrete; and from being forced to be creative on demand.
Creativity isn’t easy, even for creative people, and the constant demand to be creative and to then be graded on your creativity is draining.
Rather than relying on patterns and formulas, LMC challenges you to constantly push the limits— and if you think that’s easy, I’d like to see you try.
In conclusion, LMC makes the world go round— just take a look at this newspaper.