As more and more students flock to more STEM-related pursuits, the importance of studying history still remains in place.
It’s easy to admit that US History might not be the obvious choice when it comes to electives in high school and college. Those who are in the middle of their studies earning a STEM-related degree or degree may not have to put as much sweat equity into the humanities. But Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch stresses not only the importance of studying history, but also the importance of looking into US History in particular.
History is still important, even though getting a degree in it might not be the most monetarily rewarding, yielding professions in teaching, historical preservation, and other humanity-heavy realms.
Ancient cultures have devoted much time and have given tireless efforts in teaching their children and family history — essentially, what came before them. Historical texts have been preserved by the likes of Charlemagne, as well as the Middle East.
Instead of being like many in modern society, make sure to never turn your back on the past — that would be like choosing to ignore an awesome wave that could sweep us up again.
Even though we live in rapid change and history feels like it’s happening now (which it is), we still need to define ourselves based on where we came from in addition to where we are going. Having any sort of ignorance of the past is an excellent opportunity to start studying history. You can focus on broad swaths and entire eras, or you can focus on the minutiae, whichever you choose.
US History is particularly important for us as Americans. We need to remember and learn more about what we did to get here and how that affects how we look at the world and how the world looks at us. But why learn about our own history?
Well, for one, many Americans don’t know our history as well as they might like to believe. This can be due to lack of curriculum offered or lack of interest required to explore the topic independently of academic requirement. So, it’s both our faults and the fault of the system.
Knowledge of our own history is essential (if not crucial) in the making of Americans for a number of reasons. Our memories and histories of common experiences can help boost patriotism — which maybe we need a little more of today. History also makes us more intelligent voters and less prone to repeat past mistakes based on knowledge of our past. Studying historical trends can also shed light on current trends — since history tends to repeat itself and all.
History also makes us better neighbors. It teaches us to be more open and more tolerant of other cultures. It also lets us know that America itself has both done great and terrible things to be in its current position in the world, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. History can act as a stabilizing, unifying force for us all, making us more well-rounded individuals in the process as we enjoy artistic and intellectual offerings from the past.
If you get an opportunity to take a US History course or if you find a book at a bookstore on an area of US History that you’re already interested, read it! You’ll be better for it; we’ll all be better for it.