The Necessary Evil That Is General Education Classes
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The Necessary Evil That Is General Education Classes

Producing One Well-Rounded Scholar after Another

The Necessary Evil That Is General Education Classes

We have all heard the complaint, or even made it ourselves, that General Education classes (or GenEds, for short) are just a way for schools to make more money; they often seem tedious, unnecessary, or even painful. Why should students be "forced" to take classes outside of their interests? As realistic as all of these complaints seem, they leave certains aspects of General Education untouched. Here are some reasons why general education classes aren't nearly as bad as they often seem.

General education classes cover a wide variety of topics. This is to broaden a student's interest, and also, make sure that students are well-rounded. It's a given, that you will likely not enjoy every general education class that is required of you; however, you might find a new love for English, Science, Math, or History. This could lead you to pursuing a new major, minor, or even switching fields of study. Maybe your general education classes don't affect you that much, but they could peak your interests in ways that lead to new hobbies or reading.

It's also hard to say what skills you will/will not need in your field. Just because you're a scientist, doesn't mean that you don't need to know how to write papers, laboratory reports, or grants. No matter what field you find yourself working in, you need the basic skills from other areas to be able to work productively. That is why general education requirements do not make students take upper level classes in fields other than their primary focus.

As an English major, it is often difficult for me to understand how Chemistry or Finite Mathematics will ever be beneficial in the real world; however, there are many at the same level of education as me who still don't know what they want to do. Without the general education classes, it would be difficult for Undeclared majors to ever find the field of the study they wish to pursue. I started out as an Elementary Education major with a music minor, and I am now a Professional Writing major with a Public Relations minor. Without my general education classes, I probably would have stayed on the Elementary Education track and been relatively unhappy. Although I often find my remaining GenEds frustrating, I have to keep in mind the things that they have done for me.

Take pride in your education; it's an opportunity not everyone is offered. General education classes are just a way to expand your knowledge in multiple fields. Use that knowledge to be an impressively rounded scholar. The more you embrace your education, the more likely your success later in life.

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