I hereby announced that I, Magdalena Nygard, wish I loved numbers over words.
Life would be so much easier.
I would be able to calculate the tip at a restaurant in my head, and I would instantly be able to multiply measurements without googling: “What’s half of two-thirds of a cup?”
I would’ve spent a lot less time crying doing extra math fact exercises my dad printed out after elementary school when I wasn’t getting good scores.
More importantly, I would’ve become an engineer, gotten an internship during the summer of my senior year and would've had a job offer after graduation.
Instead, my brain chose to revolt: “What’s nine times three? Wait, give me two seconds. I’m still not good at math facts and need to use the finger trick.”
Somehow, my brain chose to love words, not numbers.
I’m a hardcore reader. Just ask my seventh-grade teacher. Instead of calling his students by their government-given names, he chose to give everyone nicknames that represent their personality.
I was “The Reader.”
Still don’t believe me? Look at my Kindle Unlimited subscription and at how many books I read in a year. I’m averaging around 70 a year.
It's been a foregone conclusion that I can’t start a book when going to bed because if the book is really good, forget about sleep, I’ll keep reading until 1:30 a.m. when the 400-page book is done.
And my major? Since science and math were out, I chose communications by process of elimination.
Sometimes I think society values math-related and “science-y” jobs more. This is noticeable on the pay scale, on how much STEM is emphasized in school and the TikToks where someone with a microphone goes around campus asking students what major they think is the easiest.
I think we all know the most answered major is communications.
And while I’m only required to take two math classes that were the bane of my existence (STAT 200 and MATH 34), it’s not as if communications majors don’t work hard.
Who do you think is behind every single one of your favorite shows, clothing brand or
celebrity’s social media? It’s us, communications majors.
How do you think newspaper outlets get most of the stories they report on? Communications majors send email pitches to reporters to entice them to write a story.
Who writes the news articles in every single media outlet with BuzzFeed and E! News included? Communications majors.
Communications majors work their butts off to get every internship opportunity available because they know that’s going to make them most marketable post graduation.
And maybe that might not seem hard, but talk to someone trying to get a communications internship at Penn State Athletics. Lots of people apply, but only few get the job.
One of my friends, who graduated as an engineering major, started his own company, and he’s doing all of the jobs by himself — from social media, blogging, TikTok to email marketing.
And what did he say to me one day? Something along the lines of, “I didn’t realize how hard this could be.”
That’s not to insult anyone who chose a math or “science-y” major. I’m proud of the work I’ve done, the grades I’ve gotten, the internships I’ve earned, and every other major should be, too.
I know how long and hard homework is for those in science, technology, engineering and math fields. If I can’t do nine times three without the finger trick, I sure as heck can’t do their homework.
This just goes to show that sometimes our brains don’t work in certain subjects. If everyone was the same and liked the same things, the world would be a boring place to live. Numbers and me are like oil and water, and that’s OK.
But next time, give some more credit to the creative ones. We’re smart too — just not in the same ways.
After all, that’s why we have calculators.