classes to take in college

General Education In College Sucks, Fact

These classes are useless.

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Coming from a freshman in college, I have a lot of experience in this area. I took very few AP classes in high school, and I am awful when it comes to perfecting the art of navigating standardized tests. So for the AP tests that I did take, they did not go so well. Let's put it this way: I'm in an English related major and I didn't even get credit for English. Yeah, that bad. But how does that even make sense? How can I want to pursue writing as a career, but I didn't get credit on a test that is examining your ability to understand literature. It's because students shouldn't be put under all that pressure and expected to do well on a test that's four hours of constant concentration. What if they were having an off day? Or they genuinely cannot focus because everything they've been working towards is all going to be for nothing if they don't do well. However, that's a whole other rant for another time.

I'm here to talk about general education in college. I agree that for some students, it is extremely helpful. It can potentially guide them in picking a major if they're undecided. I totally get that. What I don't get is how every student is required to take these classes, even if they know it's not what they want to do. I'm sorry but, as a filmmaking major, I do not need to know what photosynthesis is or what the Pythagorean Theorem is. Instead of taking classes that have to do with my major as a freshman, I'm pretty much reliving high school with all of these required Gen-Eds.

Speaking of high school, I remember taking calculus during my junior year. Which, for anyone who took calculus, you know that it's literally hell on earth. But anyway, I just remember wanting to get to college because then I could take classes that I'm really interested in. If I could go back to that moment in my life, I would just laugh in her face because I'm not only taking the same kind of classes, I'm paying to take these classes again. (Well… my parents are, thanks, mom and dad!) I really don't understand how learning about the life of plants in biology and relearning fractions and decimals in math - and yes, that is a real college class I'm taking - will help me improve in the future. I already suffered through all of those things in high school. I came to college to get a higher education, not the same education.

So that's my rant on this particular subject. I do understand that Gen-Eds are helpful for some people who don't know what they want to do, but I'm just not one of those people.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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Yes, I Know The Drawbacks Of My Major

Contrary to popular belief, I think the pros of being a teacher outweigh the cons.

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When someone says that they are studying to become a teacher, they will get one of two responses. The first is most commonly just a blunt question asking why. The second is a comment on how little money they will be making. I will start out by simply saying yes, this profession on paper is not appealing nor is it rewarding to most people. It is a job where you teach students that are not always pleased to be in your classroom. This job does make little money, you do make significantly less than in my opinion, you deserve. I could sit here, and list out every nitty gritty drawback being a teacher has but I feel as though it would be better to list out the reasons why being a teacher is worth it.

I am going to let everyone in on a little secret; every education major knows exactly what they are going to make. I did not choose education to be a millionaire or make six figures. I did not select it for material benefits. I chose to become a teacher because I felt it was what I was meant to do. Teaching to me is more than all the things society says is bad about the profession. I want to be a teacher because I want to impact students life as my teachers did for me. My teachers specifically in high school were some of the most helpful and kindest people I had ever met. I had a math teacher who was so patient with me and genuinely wanted to see me succeed in his class. He was so willing to help me work through the subject and bless his soul I was not easy to teach math to. However, he worked with me until I understood. That was the first math class I earned a B in, in high school. I had a drama teacher who gave me an activity that I was genuinely passionate about, and a sense of belonging in the school. An English professor in high school that caused me to fall in love with my subject even more. The teacher that made me want to be a teacher was my junior year English teacher. She impacted my life in ways that meant more than she would ever know. She was not just my teacher who taught enthusiastically about a subject I adored; she was my mentor, confidant, sounding board, and someone I looked up to. I want to help other students the same way she helped and impacted me. Teachers can make or break a students experience in school. They can be the light that helps them, but without helpful teachers, students can really not have a good experience.

This is why I want to be a teacher because of the possibility of even impacting/changing one student's life outweighs every con. I want to change students lives for the better. I want to be their support system and help them succeed. No amount of money could compare to the feeling of doing something you love and helping people.

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