How to Capitalize on General Education Classes


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Image via FIT

Image via FIT

Most colleges and universities nowadays have a list of classes that students must take before they graduate – general education classes.  A lot of students see these classes are seen as a waste of time and money, but I am here to teach you how useful gen eds can really be when you look at them the right way!

Fumbling Freshman?  Stuck Sophomore?

Though you may have registered for your school with a major in mind, there’s no rule that says that you have to stick with this original major for the next few years of your college career.  For example, you may want to be an actor, take a calculus class for your gen ed math course and realize you want to try out accounting.  Gen eds can be a great way for you to get a taste of different careers without committing to one completely.  This is why they are so great for undecided freshmen, especially.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

At my school, we have many of required classes and quite a few happen to fall under categories that I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards, such as theology and philosophy.  These classes allowed me to open my mind to other religions and thought processes, and therefore understand diversity in a new light. 

A Way to Learn About Other Cultures

Sure, learning a new language is difficult, but it pays off when you’re able to visit another country and understand the language and culture of your surroundings better than your monolingual friends.  You may also take a history course or two about countries that you had never learned about in high school, countries that you may ultimately yearn to visit someday. 

Image via fanpop

Image via fanpop

Major Complacency

A lot of college students want to dive right into their major (once they figure out what theirs is, exactly).  Though you may love your biology classes, you shouldn’t prevent yourself from new experiences by becoming complacent in taking all biology, all the time.  You still want to love your major, so by throwing in a class on Shakespeare and another on ethics, you may learn to appreciate your major even more because you have a limited amount of time in the lab.

They Can Make You Well-Rounded

By having a background in the sciences, modern languages, mathematics, philosophy, history, etc., you are opening yourself up to a world filled with differences.  You want to be able to tackle adversity when it comes your way, rather than shy away unprepared.  General education can make you a well-rounded performer in the workplace and an informed citizen of the world. 

So the next time you take a look at all of your required classes, think of that list as a friend, not a foe.  It’s trying to help you find a career path and give you the basics to understanding the world that we live in.

For more inspiration in high school, college, and beyond, check out How to Keep Your Extracurriculars Going During the Summer, 4 Tips to Improve Your Academic Writing, How to Increase Your Concentration While Studying, and Tips for Being Prepared for Exams.

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