Each semester of college is unique in that we take various course loads toward our degrees. Especially as underclassmen, we have the luxury of choosing from a wide variety of electives and GEP courses within our degree programs. It’s important that we choose these seemingly miscellaneous classes with the intention of expanding our knowledge further than what may be confined to our major.
There are many different ways to organize your schedule, but the best advice I can give as a fourth-year student is to balance out your course load as much as possible each semester. When choosing your GEP requirements or electives within your major, enroll in classes you think will be interesting or entertaining. This will help you create a schedule that will allow you to handle the stresses of your more challenging and demanding courses.
These miscellaneous classes can lead to so much more than checking off another requirement. Additionally, if you are still even slightly unsure about what you want to major in, these classes are the perfect way to find out what you are passionate about pursuing.
Additionally, classes that may be considered random to certain majors such as social science courses like psychology, or health and exercise studies like ballet, can lead to genuine hobbies. Perhaps taking general psychology leads to an interest in mental health documentaries or taking ballet leads to joining a dance group on campus.
Personally, some of my favorite courses have been random ones that I needed to choose to fulfill a requirement. Anthropology, art history and game studies are just some of the courses I found to be surprisingly eye-opening and intriguing. Game studies in particular has served as the perfect, interesting but stress-relieving course this semester to contrast my other more difficult classes.
If you have any remote interest in a subject that may or may not be related to your major and it meets a requirement, why not take it and see what happens? You could find a new calling or passion, challenge your mind, or just be able to enjoy a class without excessive stress.
It is also crucial to not underestimate any class you take during your college career as there is always something to take away from each course. Although taking a required math or literature class may not be your preference, try to find courses that contain concepts that somewhat interest you. Perhaps taking a general French or Portuguese course may lead to a minor or the trip of a lifetime. The possibilities are endless as long as you have an open mind.
Many students can experience academic burnout throughout college, but this can be avoided. With a more positive mindset and conscious balance of classes when creating our schedules, we can cultivate our own academic and personal success.
It can be so easy to lose sight of the joy of learning new things and being open to more than just the main concepts required for your major. Through the constant grind of classes to reach graduation, we must appreciate the wider knowledge and enjoyment we can get from miscellaneous courses within our requirements.