School is a place where people go to get an education and learn more about the world around them. History, math, science, english, etc. are all extremely important subjects for students to engage in and learn about. However, I think that the education system as a whole has been lacking in terms of making students take diversity courses. I am a Women's, Gender, and Sexuality (WGSS) major, so of course I think that everyone should WANT to take a diversity course at some point in their lives, just because it is super interesting and important to me. But I get that not everyone is into that, and that is totally okay.
I remember taking my first WGSS class and being so mind-blown because I was suddenly thrust into a setting where I was challenging the world around me and asking why things are the way they are. I know at UConn most people are required to take some sort of diversity class for graduation, and I think that is great; people should be pushed out of their comfort zone. Unfortunately I have been in multiple classes with people who are only there for their requirements, and they don't take it seriously. They laugh at the things that I want to dedicate my entire career to. It's unfortunate that I can sit in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) class and respect the material, try my best to learn it, and not mock it, and meanwhile there are people who sit in WGSS classes and laugh and belittle the things that are so important to, not only me, but people all over the world. I don't want to make it seem like I am bashing STEM, because that is certainly not the case. People put so much into STEM and I respect that; I sometimes wish that I could be that great at it, and I am also not one to step on people's passions.
What I really want to get at here is the idea that diversity courses should be introduced to students even earlier than college. I think that our society tends to value STEM over liberal arts, and don't get me wrong, STEM is so crucial to the world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking or wanting to pursue STEM. Ideally, though, there would be some sort of introduction to diversity classes in high school because learning about the way the world functions, and the way that people function as a result of society, is also so essential to life and learning. WGSS, for example, teaches us about feminism and the different ways in which our system creates disadvantages for different people, people who we all interact with every day. I think that if students were required to learn about that earlier in life then they might see the world differently. If I am required to take a math class for 12+ years of my life then I think that it's fair to ask for a year in a diversity course from STEM centered students.
To conclude, I want to thank my WGSS classes for teaching me so much about the world and the way it functions, and for giving me something to be passionate about and dedicate my studies to. I want to thank my math and history and science and english classes also, for teaching me other valuable skills that I certainly use in my day-to-day life. Most of all, I want people to be introduced to diversity courses and want to engage in them because they teach skills that are just as valuable as any other class does. So if you are reading this and you have an opportunity to take a class like that, then I strongly urge you to do so, because the things you learn about in those classes exist around you whether you know it or not, so why not take the time to learn a little bit more about them?