Are General Education Courses A Waste Of Our Time?

Are General Education Courses A Waste Of Our Time?

Do these courses provide a much-needed broad education or are they a pointless requirement?
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If there's one thing that every college student has become an expert on, it's jumping through hoops that often seem completely pointless but are still, for some reason, required. Doing this is an important part of becoming an adult. However, one starts to wonder how many hoops (in this case, dreaded general education courses), should be mandatory, especially if they have nothing to do with the career someone wishes to pursue. Aside from the fact that students must pay the course fee and pay for the textbooks, these classes also take time away from the subjects that really interest students. Others say that general education is important because it provides a broader experience and helps the student find their interests.

As a student at a liberal arts school, I have a pretty narrow understanding of how regular colleges work. This is why I asked by best friend who attends the University of Florida for her thoughts on the subject. She believes that, if someone is certain of what they want to major in, they should be able to only take the classes relevant to that major. According to her, general education classes are often irrelevant because students have all of high school to learn basic material. She thinks that liberal arts colleges should realize that a lot of what they teach is just a repeat for some. If she could change the system, she’d make it so that those who are "undecided" about their major could take some general education courses in order to find something that they’re interested in, but it should not be a requirement in order to graduate.

All of these ideas make complete sense and it is certainly a more streamlined way of doing things. However, one could argue that the point of getting a higher education is to have a broad range of experiences that you can fall back on for help later in life. The College of Charleston, for example, places a great emphasis on a liberal arts education. While I definitely believe that having a broad education is important, I wonder how it affects the students’ mental states. Having so many classes that are all in such broad subject areas can be incredibly challenging, especially if one of them is something that someone struggles with. Also, having so many different areas of study being thrown at someone who has very broad interests and struggles to decide on a major can cause them problems with making a decision, which is the exact opposite of their intended purpose. I could get into a whole discussion about how this is an ulterior motive to get more money from students, but that’s for another time. My point is, since there is so much societal emphasis placed on what someone majored in during college, being torn between multiple interests can actually cause more problems than this plethora of skills can solve.

What is your opinion of general education requirements? Do you think they provide students with a much-needed broad education? Or are they a pointless requirement for those who are certain of what they want to dedicate their life to?


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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

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7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

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11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

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13. Frat House Dr. Sign

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Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Patience Is More Important Than A 4-Year Degree

One means nothing without the other.

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Senior year makes you reflect on what you've accomplished in your college career. The classes, professors, peers, clubs and organizations, great choices, terrible choices, and everything in between all accumulates into one unique experience for each individual. If there's one thing that I've learned while putting my life into perspective this year, it's that college is mostly bullshit.

Yes, classes can be cool and informative. Yes, you can learn a lot from your professors. But how much of what you learn in the classroom directly relates to what you'll be doing for a living? Unless you're going to med school, probably not much. Do any internship, talk to any person in a company that you want to work for, and they'll all tell you the same thing – what you went through to earn your 4-year certificate to work is only 5% of what you need to do the job.

You need hard skills, which are things that directly translate into your performance as a worker. You need people skills, aka "well yes this person is certainly qualified to do the job, but am I going to enjoy being in an office with them for 40 hours per week or more?" Most importantly, however, I think you need patience.

College students are under so much pressure in the 18-25 age range to have our lives completely figured out. If we don't, then the older generation and even our peers like to frame us as failures. In reality, less than one percent of us know what we want to do for the rest of our lives and we try painting a picture on social media and construct great narratives in person to make it seem as if we know what we're doing. Why can't we emphasize patience as it is a powerful virtue?

We get so caught up in other's expectations of us that we forget that we are only in the first quarter of our lives, and we have the entire ball game to go (thanks @garyvee for that line). Why do people get so bent out of shape when we're not even at halftime? Patience is incredibly important to learn, both for your mental health and ability to perform. Most of what you learn to do your job will be learned while on the job, so stressing out about grades shouldn't be your top priority. Yes, making good grades is optimal, but employers will be more impressed with what you've managed to do aside from earning your grades in school.

Most of us at this age are going to be able to work until we are in our 70s easily (thanks to healthcare and technology). This means we have 40-50 really good years of production in us. It took the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, seven years to win his first title. If Jordan was patient enough to go seven years being the greatest player, then you can stay patient for a few years to figure out what you love to do and become great at it. Four years in college is nothing in relation to your entire career, especially when the value of those four years doesn't come from your classes, but instead your connections.

Our greatest weakness in this generation is our lack of patience and perspective. It becomes a dangerous thing when we have a loaded resume, have ample skills, a great personality, awesome work ethic, but still think we are failures because we don't have a job or aren't entirely sure of where we're going with our lives. If you're that college student (and trust me, I was for a long time), finding your patient side and gaining that perspective on life will help you go a lot further than sweating the small stuff.

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