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Those Classes That Aren't In Your Major? Pay Attention.

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

Every college or university requires them. Every student has to pick a few. What are we talking about?

Those general classes that are outside of your major but you have to take in order to graduate.

While it could make sense to pick the easiest class for a guaranteed “A” without the workload of your major courses, we want to suggest something else: Use those classes as an opportunity to be exposed to, and really take in, information you may never have learned otherwise. Practice utilizing a part of your skill-set you might not normally engage.

The reality is that once you get into your major courses it is highly unlikely that you will have the time to take classes just for “fun.” Like that class on Beyonce, or the film class that strictly analyzes Quentin Terrentino, or even the course on graphic design that you wanted to take. Okay, maybe you aren’t lucky enough to have those classes as required options, but the classes that you do have will more than likely stretch your thinking to force you to flex a muscle that might normally lie dormant.

In other words, requiring those classes is your college’s attempt to help you to become a critical thinker- not just operate with a one-track mind. So, we want you to consider two things as you start in your general required courses:

1. See these courses as helping you to become a well-rounded person. Good conversation often stems from exposure to multiple topics, types of people, and experiences.

2. This is preparation for the jobs where you will be given work assignments that you aren’t necessarily interested in.

Number two is very important. You will not like every part of your job after college (or maybe even in for some of you) in the same way you may not like every part of college. This is your opportunity to learn the discipline that comes with muscling through what you don’t like in order to get to those things that you do.

Spend this year thinking about those classes as a chance to do and be something and somebody different. You don't normally write 15-page papers in your major? Figure out how to make that assignment as fun as possible and realize that cultivating your writing skills is a tool that everyone has to have. Hate science, but stuck in an Intro to Biology course? Get with a group of your peers to study and to make the coursework engaging for you.

We hope this helps; have a great year!

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