15 Gen Eds Worth Taking At Penn State

15 Gen Eds Worth Taking At Penn State

If you're sweating at the thought of sitting through that mandatory science class or art class, have no fear.
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By some miracle, I made it out of my high school algebra and chemistry classes alive. To be honest, I thought that after those days were over I'd never have to sit in a classroom and learn about formulas ever again.

You could say it was quite the rude awakening when I found out that wasn't true. Yes, math and science general education classes are required in college, even for Comm majors.

I'm almost finished my second year of college now, so I've completed my fair share of Gen Eds. Some were brutal to get through, while others were some of the best courses I've ever taken.

With the scheduling dates quickly approaching, here are some of my and my friends' favorite, easy Gen Eds at Penn State:

1. Hort 150: Plants in the Human Context: GN

Hands down, I would recommend taking this class with Dennis Decoteau. He is the kindest man you'll ever meet. You'll learn about food and wine pairings, farming, beer, plants, spices and more. The lectures fly by and the assignments and quizzes are online.

2. BiSci 003: Environmental Science: GN

BiSci 3 with Christopher Uhl is basically a philosophy class. You literally hand in journal entries for points, and there are no quizzes or exams. The journals and small discussion labs have taught me so much about myself and given me clarity I never thought I would find. I know that sounds super deep and weird, but I believe this class can truly change a person's outlook on life for the better.

3. BiSci 004: Human Body: GN

I am not a science person whatsoever. Anatomy, chemistry, and biology all scare me to death. However, BiSci 4 with Louise Kessler was one of the most interesting classes I've taken, and she made science as simple as it can be. All the work and quizzes are online and you simply attend a majority of the lectures for the additional points.

4. GeoSci 10: Geology of National Parks: GN

I've never taken this course, but one of my best friends said it was the easiest science class she's taken. It's also online, which is never a bad thing.

5. Soc 119: Race and Ethnic Relations: GS; US

Almost every Penn State student I've ever met raves about this course. The professor, Samuel Richards, is basically a legend on campus.

6. Soc 12 / Criminology 003: GS

If you can take it with Martha Sherman, you'll love this class for sure. The lectures go by quickly, and you actually learn useful information about the law. You also learn why people turn out to be criminals and how society handles all of this. One of the best parts about this class is that you get to watch documentaries regarding crime, serial killers, falsely convicted individuals and the law.

7. HDFS 129: Human Development and Family Studies: GS

I think all of my friends and family members are sick of hearing me talk about this class, but I can't think of any other class that's impacted me as much as this one. I think that's mostly due to Molly Countermine, the amazing professor of this course who shares stories, personal examples, and gets you to think about your own life and upbringing.

8. World History 10: GH; IL

While this may be the most challenging class out of all the ones on the list, it's still manageable. I would highly recommend taking it with David Atwill. He's approachable and completely understands that this course is a general education class for many. There are quizzes at the end of lectures, some outside readings, and a few exams, but Dr. Atwill keeps the class fun and interesting.

9. CMLIT 120: Literature of the Occult: GH; IL

Professor Nicolai Volland is so sweet, and mostly just wants the class to participate. There are readings outside of class and quite a few writing prompts, but I thought the material was really amusing overall.

10. InArt 005: Performing Arts: GA

I have yet to take my art gen eds, but students always talk about this class in a positive light. It's online and as long as you do some required readings and attend the various performances, you should be good to go.

11. Music 004: GA

A few of my friends said this course was insanely easy. If you've never held a paintbrush or you aren't curious to learn about art history, this is a safe bet.

12. Theater 100: GA; US; IL

You've probably read about this course or heard about it from at least 20 people. Apparently, it's both entertaining and easy. What more could you want?

13. EDPSY 101: Statistical Data: GQ

This course teaches you how to interpret math and teach it, hence why it falls under education. Basically, you learn about statistics without getting a headache.

14. Math 043: Mathematics of Money: GQ

I regret not taking this course to fulfill my math gen ed requirement. Math 43 includes topics such as interest, discounts, investments, taxes, retirement plans and mortgages. If there's one class you'll need in order to adult, it's this one.

15. BBH 101 or 143: BioBehavioral Health: GHA

BBH 101 is an introduction course, teaching people about how their behaviors affect their health. BBH 143 is also a good pick, as it gives information on drug use, effects and prevention.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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