As students begin scheduling for next semester, many, if not all of us will need to schedule courses that are required of all in all majors.
To some students, they are a pain in the butt. Many wonder why they have to take a course on Introduction to Music when their major is nursing.
However, is there truly value in taking “gen eds” such as these, and many more?
Even though they can be annoying, I would argue that they do in fact serve a purpose, albeit one you don’t notice until much later in your career.
I’ve viewed these courses as classes not meant as building blocks in your major so to speak, but classes that give you a foundation in other areas of your life.
For example, Introduction to Music can give you a new appreciation for music and lead you to learn about new genres of music you didn’t know of before or hadn’t previously been a fan of.
In some instances, a general education course can redirect you in a new educational direction. While not always the case, there have been instances of people taking such great interest in one particular course that it makes them reconsider the path that they’re on, and they may switch majors, or even double major.
I’m not arguing the goal is to change your major and career outcome, but if the change is right, let that gen ed be the thing that guides the switch.
General education courses also generally just fill time that otherwise would be spent doing nothing. Instead of a 55-minute class, you’d instead be sleeping or lying around; not that we all don’t enjoy that every once in a while, but as someone who prefers to stay busy and active, at least it gives me something to do and look forward to.
In taking a general education course, you can also meet some really wonderful professors along the way; they may be professors you never take again, but in the short time you’re lucky enough to have them, they may make the complete difference, help reshape your view of something as small as a singular issue or something as large as the world itself, and they can become great friends and mentors.
Building on that, you can also meet a variety of people in these classes, people who you won’t share classes with again, but in those gen eds, you share mutual experiences and memories.
Overall, general education courses can be a pain, but if you think about their intended effects, and the good that can come from them, they’re totally worth it. And when you’re making your schedule, you should invest more time in deciding what you take.