In college, we all have to take classes we don’t want to take; classes that are required by our major and random classes that don’t seem to make ANY sense at all.
So, what do you do when you’re stuck taking a class that seems pointless or one that you are completely uninterested in?
You may think that the random class required by your major is useless and the information you learn will never come up again, however, you may also be surprised. As a psychology major (and naturally curious person), I had to/wanted to take a lot of different classes so I could experience many different things before graduating.
From oceanography and pathobiology to women’s studies and art history, I’ve taken it all, but in some of these random classes, I took away more than just a grade.
1. Art History
Level of value: great for conversation, understanding references in media, understanding historical references.
A lot of people dread this class. Why? It’s long, it’s boring, and it’s chock-full of dates and information that could make the driest dessert seem like a bountiful ocean. Perhaps it’s part of your plan of study or perhaps it’s just a liberal arts or history requirement that you may need in order to graduate.
Either way, since graduation, this class has come in handy in more ways than some of my psychology classes combined.
Whether I was reading a book, following a movie, reading a newspaper article or even during a commercial, I found myself understanding and seeing references from class.
I pointed out the Discobolus to my dad while we were watching a commercial and explained to him the meaning of the name “Discobolus” (discus-thrower) and the composition of the statue. I understood a historical update on the Venus of Waldorf in a New York Times article and a reference to Hellenistic art in a book I was reading this past summer.
I felt informed and knowledgeable and it was interesting to see how much art (both past and present) really plays a part in our culture; whether it’s media, history or literature, it’s a very important topic that comes up a lot in daily life so instead of dreading your art history class, embrace it!
2. Ethics of Business
Level of value: Important things to know for everyday life and in your job; may come up in the news or media.
After attending the first day of this class, I thought to myself, “Man, I can’t wait until this class is over.” I thought it would be boring, dry and above all, very difficult to follow. I couldn’t imagine learning anything of real importance in this class until I actually got into the material.
After reading and analyzing case briefs, I still wasn’t convinced, but I had an inkling that I might be learning valuable information when I outlined the basic rules of copyright law over a family dinner one evening…I was impressed with myself to say the least!
While you don’t have to be an expert on every law out there, being familiar with our legal system and how it may apply to business is actually very important and necessary information not only in your job, but in life, as well.
You should be familiar with your rights as an employee from sexual harassment to workers compensation and hiring/firing policies; these are all important things that you will come across and learn in ethics of business.
3. Environmental Science
Level of value: Great for conversation, allows you to follow the news and trending environmental topics/discussions, great information for other classes.
I’d like to start off by saying I don’t go green and I don’t recycle. I’m not into saving the planet and I buy a lot of styrofoam; and I was dreading this class more than any other when I signed up for it…. and for good reason!
The professor was quiet with a voice so velvety soft, it would put an insomniac to sleep; the videos we watched were long and boring and we had to either write a research paper or give a presentation at the end of the year which I did not want to do (I also had a 12-year-old genius in my class which made it KINDA interesting, but still).
It wasn’t until some of the things I was learning about in class were coming up in other classes that I realized how much I was learning. I was able to participate in discussions about megajoules and alternative sources of energy, the effects of overpopulation on the planet and even how environmental issues are tied to women’s rights (I used information from this class for a paper in Women’s Studies… needless to say, I got a ‘A’).
A lot of the information in this type of class WILL come up in the media and news; you will read about things you’ve learned in class in the newspaper, online and even at your job.
So, what is the point here?
The point is, my lovelies, take a class you are not so sure of; even if it’s not required. You may end up learning a lot of valuable information that can help you in other classes, at your place of work or even in your everyday life!