10 Things A History Student Will Never Say


10. I Love Writing the Bibliography Section of My Essays.

books-20

You have to face it. No one likes writing those long and winded lists of authors, book titles, articles and sources. Sure, it is absolutely an integral part of the process of writing history, perhaps more so than we would like to admit, but the truth is that it is very laborious, and time consuming. If only we could possibly write our papers without having to cite our sources.

9.  I Enjoy Taking Other’s Opinion on History into Account.

conversation

Although we are very good at faking that we are generally interested in what you are saying, and perhaps even give your opinion of history a second thought, the truth is that we will most likely not agree with you on your view of history or certain historical events. This, mind you, is completely normal as history students sometimes do not even trust their own professors. It might be the over inflated ego, or the hours spent reading and researching certain topics. I sincerely do no not know.

8. I Never Get Tired Of Reading.

bookpages

Reading is perhaps the single most important thing that any historian, or student of history needs to partake in. It is absolutely essential. Yet, with this in mind it is also endless. Although historians enjoy reading there comes a point that any person just cannot take it anymore. After hundreds and hundreds of pages of mere primarily  sources, there is undoubtedly a limit.

7.  I Was Wrong.

Fishing

Historians, or truly history students have a hard time recognizing that they might have been wrong. I can attest to this, because it truly is difficult to actually  recognize that one is wrong in something. However although this is rarely said in plain words it is always felt by any good historians, for a long time.

6. You Might Be Right.

Agreement

Consequently, although this might seem similar to the phrase above, it is in fact equally hard to mention that another person is right about a particular fact or interpretation of history. But really if one does concede to actually give people the satisfaction of being right, or the drudgery of being wrong, where is the fun of argument? Truly the corner stone in the study of history.

5. The Sources I Used In My Paper Are Weak.

Sources

A big part of being a historian, as you provably know, is finding the sources to back up whatever you are arguing. This process is very difficult, and takes a great deal of effort, which is why sometimes when a source proves to be faulty through the research of someone else, after all the work one had gone through to actually find and fit that particular source into an argument, and it turns out to be faulty it is really hard to actually concede that it might be weak.

4. History Never Gets Boring.

boredom

There is a point, I assure you, in the career and life of a historians where he simply just after a great deal of work, wants to put his books away if only for an hour to do something different, maybe go watch a movie that has nothing to do with history. Perhaps something like 300, or the classic Troy.

3.  I Am Good At Math I Just Chose History Because I Like It Better.

math

This is purely opinionated. I do not think that most historians are genuinely very good at math, or simply they are bored of it. I think that the sciences are generally for people that are good at math, while reading, writing, and general common sense should be left to the historians.

2. I Might Not Know Enough About That Subject.

history

Although the average historian is very opinionated and hard headed he/she is also extremely stuck to the belief that he/she might have done more reading about a subject than others, sometimes even the professor. This of course, is part of the theme that shows that historians might not be so objective, as society wants them or demands them to be.

1. I am 100% Sure What I Can Do With a History Degree.

graduation

There comes a time that when every history student wonders what he or she could do with her history degree. Although there are many things from law, teaching and management that someone with a degree can go into. Hell, you can even go to med school if you get a high enough grade on your MCAT. The point is that a history student might have these feelings, but can pass them by realizing that a anything can be done with a history degree. An education is an important step in someone’s life but it is not the sole determinant of your future.  History serves to educate you about yourself, which will make you a better person.


Published in The Art of Polemics, Issue 2, on Sept 9th, 2014.

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