As you get older and you enter university, you start realizing that people immediately judge you depending on what you're studying. It's one of the first questions you get asked when you meet someone, whether it's your fellow students or your significant other's parents, the same question inevitably gets asked: "So, what program are you in?"
That's when the generalizations and the generic statements about your academic career choice start pouring in. The struggles and realities of being a history student are very real, and here are some of the ones we have to deal with on a regular basis.
1. The reading is endless
When people ask me if I read, I usually like to answer: "I've paid my dues, I studied history". A program where so much reading is assigned, you feel like you cannot absorb another word of information. One class I took had 2 thick textbooks, 1 course pack and 5 regular books to get through in a single semester.
2. "What was your first choice?"
When you tell people you're studying history, people usually assume you applied for something else, didn't get accepted chose history as a backup plan. The most annoying part about this statement is that 90% they're right.
3. "So you're going to be a teacher?"
When you study history, you quickly realize your career paths are limited. Sometimes it feels like we study history in order to churn out a new generation of history teachers. Seems like a pretty pointless cycle. So you're either stuck doing that or you can join the big exciting world of Archiving. Good luck.
4. The pressure to know everything
Everyone always assumes you remember every important date in history. Whenever a debate breaks out they turn to you and say: "You should know this, you studies this, right?"
5. You can't appreciate movies that take place in the past
How can you enjoy a movie if you're too busy pointing out all the historical inaccuracies?
6. You become an expert bullshitter
The key to any good history paper is simple. Pick any historical date or event, search Google Scholar for academic papers on the same time period. Rehash what someone else said and use them as a footnote to back up you "original theory". Done! You can literally say anything as long as someone else said it first.
7. You live in the library
You know all the best spots to get some peace and quiet, you know where all the relevant books are (probably better than the librarian). You know where the bathrooms are hidden and you know the best corners to catch a quick nap.
8. You know way too much about the Nazis
I'm not sure how, but everything always come back to the Nazis. Studying a country in Europe? Nazis. Studying the rise to power of any leader? Let's compare him to Hitler. Studying ancient Egypt, look at all those swastika hieroglyphics.
9. You are the bibliography master
What do you expect when your bibliography is longer than your paper?
10. You can decipher any hand writing
After 2 years of reading crappy photocopies of handwritten historical documents, doctors' notes seem like elegant calligraphy in comparison.