After matriculating, I assumed that the days of hierarchies were over. Being in an environment filled with intellectuals, I thought that everyone was open-minded enough to understand the term “different strokes for different folks”.
This was until an engineering student confided in me about not wanting to date Bachelor of Arts (BA) students. Being a BA student myself, I was shocked at this statement. I thought that there was a disease that broke out which happened to only affect BA students, but boy was I wrong. Apparently, BA students were known for their laziness. BA has been dubbed the “easy course” which does not require much hard work. These students were said to spend all of their time on the library lawns and the Matrix where they would smoke hubbly-bubbly while other students are slaving away.
This made it difficult to date them because they have too much free time and could never understand when other students were studying all day. As if I didn’t have enough problems, now I had to deal with the fact that people would undermine me because of the course I chose.
According to my knowledge most lazy, unintelligent people prefer to relax in the comfort of their homes. However, BA students are even worse. They cash in on bursaries or thousands of rands paid by their parents’ for fees then “chill” all day on campus.
Hierarchy on campus
Top of the hierarchy, in this parallel universe, are medical students followed by engineering students and all other courses in the science faculty. Commerce and Law students are next and right at the bottom of the hierarchy are BA and Education students. I wondered if this was based on fact or opinion. One thing’s for sure, I felt the condescending tone from people when I told them what I was studying, even from students who take up to six years to complete a degree that should take just three or four.
I thought we had left such a mentality in the 1980s when studying certain courses was seen to be more acceptable than others. Some people do genuinely have a passion for the social sciences. They are content with what they are studying and are not too stressed about conforming to what is acceptable in the Wits society.
After three years of undergraduate studies I would not change anything at all because I followed my heart. The bottom line is that we were all accepted into Wits, whether it was to study Medicine or Education.
All students should be respected for what they are passionate about without being judged. This means that the hierarchy must crumble and everyone must come back to earth.