5 Annoying (but Common!) Misconceptions Arts Stream Students Face in Secondary School
Arts stream students have always been perceived as “less-than” their Science stream counterparts. We debunk 5 of the most common misconceptions of Arts stream students in our article here.
Updated 20 Apr 2020
Are you an Arts stream student tired of being stereotyped because you’re not in the Science classes? Forever facing the stigma and disapproving looks of parents, relatives and teachers just because you’re not taking “hard” subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Biology?
We feel you. The truth is, there’s so much more to Arts students.
In this article, we aim to change this perception by debunking 5 of the most popular myths about Arts stream students. Here we go!
#1. You’re not very smart
“You must’ve done badly in your PT3, that’s why you’re placed in the Arts stream.”
The pitiful and discriminatory looks you receive from your older relatives, teachers and Science stream peers can sometimes be too much to handle because you just know what they’re thinking — you’re not smart enough to be placed into the Science stream, a.k.a stupid.
In reality, you are more insightful and analytical with your work. In fact, a deeper thought process is required for subjects that require in-depth comprehensions such as English Literature and Economics. This can be seen in the number of pages you need to write within an hour during exams. That’s right, pages.
#2. You want to be an artist
“You must want to be an artist when you’re older!”
Despite popular belief, Arts stream isn’t limited to the fine arts, i.e. drawing and designing.
Truth be told, the Arts stream offers many career options, including jobs that don’t require any form of artistic or creative skill. This includes fields such as mass communication, law, business, accounting and even psychology.
Opting for the Arts stream is actually a wise decision if you’re planning to pursue a career in aforementioned fields. This is because the subjects you take, such as Economics and Principles of Accounting, equip you with essential knowledge that can be applied during your pre-university and university course later on.
#3. Arts stream is an easy way out
“You don’t have pure science subjects to study, so Arts stream must be easy!”
Your family and peers probably think you’ve opted for the stream with “easy” subjects such as Pendidikan Seni and English Literature. Apparently, if you choose subjects that require you to handle brushes and paint or read story books, it means you’re not as hardworking as your Science stream peers.
However, that is far from the truth. First of all, art and drawing are not easy and not everyone can do it. It requires patience, attention to detail and creativity. As for literature, it requires critical thinking as you need to analyse paragraphs of text and form your own opinion.
#4. Job hunting will be tough when you enter the working world
“How are you going to find a job that pays well?”
Many think that what you’ve learnt in secondary school narrows your chances of getting employed by a good company because your arts-related degree won’t qualify you for high-paying jobs such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.
However, this is not completely true — companies are constantly on the lookout to fill in-demand job vacancies in the Arts, including accounting, business, education and communications! In fact, a large number of degrees are open to Arts stream students, including architecture, actuarial science, computer science and psychology. On top of that, you can pursue a number of Science-related courses too, such as nursing and physiotherapy.
#5. You’re seen as troublemakers
“Arts stream students are bad news — they’re always causing trouble everywhere they go.”
Have you ever heard someone reciting the phrase above? Unfortunately, this is a common misconception Arts stream students are forced to endure. Those who believe this myth think that Arts stream students have a penchant for causing or getting into trouble. You may have also been called “bad seeds” or a “terrible influence” on your juniors.
It also doesn’t help that Science stream students are seen as goody-two-shoes who are often obedient and hardworking or hold positions such as class prefects. However, this is more fiction than fact as every student is different and should not be judged based on their stream. There’s also always the fair share of Science stream students who rebel against the system and you can find studious and hardworking students in the Arts stream as well!
Good or bad, as Arts stream students, you may have received your fair share of judgemental comments from friends and family throughout the years. Even so, don’t let it affect you. After all, it’s another opportunity to prove the cynics wrong!