If you're a young, curious (possibly even a bit naïve?) person like me, you want to be able to curate your future down to a tee. You don't want to settle. You yearn to maximize your time at college or university and learn about anything and everything that fascinates you.
However, the fear of taking too long to graduate, accumulating excess credit hours, and having your advisor give you "that look," can be strong discouragements, preventing you from truly following your heart. Luckily, I'm here to be that beaming ray of sunshine on a rainy day and prove to you that taking some classes outside of your major will not hurt, but actually extremely benefit you! College is the quintessential time to experiment with your tastes and explore your interests, and taking varying classes is the perfect way to 1) experience all that your school has to offer, 2) educate yourself on interesting subjects you wouldn't normally take the time and dedication to learn, and 3) meet amazing, new friends who are completely different from you.
Moral of the story: be a Leslie Knope in everything that you do.
I think I have a fair amount of merit to be able to speak on this subject. I am currently an International Business major, and along with my business core classes this spring, I am taking an Environmental Science Lab, an Honors Orchestra ensemble, and a Percussion Techniques course primarily taken by Music Education majors. Of course, when I tell people all of this, they look at me like I have two heads, but in all honesty I have no regrets.
The first day of lab class, I discovered that we will be taking trips to an on-campus Botanical Gardens to conduct hands-on field research on the biodiversity there, and I met two friends whom I have already gone out to eat with. Needless to say, their overall personalities are much different than that of my business major peers, and I for one appreciate the distinction and change of pace.
Me and them right before exchanging snapchats.
In the orchestra ensemble where I will be playing double bass, we are musicians of varying skill levels who just want to continue playing for fun. You can't fail if you suck, and you don't receive an A if you're a prodigy; in fact, there are no grades since it is a 0 credit course! We all have a say in what songs and genres we would like to perform, and we even get our own little performance at the end of the term. I can already tell that it's just going to be a good time.
Me trying to figure out my instrument again after not having it to play for eight months.
Lastly, I enrolled myself into a percussion techniques course to get better at my drum rudiments and skills, as I also play the drums. Living in the dorms, I've been having a hard time figuring out how to continue practicing the drums without, y'know, a drum set in my room. I'm sure my roommates, my floor, the entire building appreciates my decision to keep it all at home. My entire first semester was rather lacking in consistent music endeavors, so I made it a point to pursue music academically this semester, making me consistent and accountable for what I do and don't do. All I can say is that I'm beyond stoked to continue drumming once again.
Me. I am this dog.
If my schedule allows, I plan to take one class per semester that is solely for me and my personal self-growth. Last semester taking all business courses, I felt like I lost myself a bit and got too enveloped in my studies. I neglected my passions and my hobbies, and now I swear to myself to never do that again. If anyone else resonates with these words, go straight to your school's course catalog and start hunting for your undiscovered interests and captivations.
The bottom line: Take that class on human sexuality. Enroll yourself in an anthropology, criminology, or Africana studies lecture. Reinvent yourself through a weight-training class. Show up to that 1-credit music class/ensemble you shyly registered for (this one goes out to me - I almost chickened out!). I promise you, you will not regret your decision, and you'll be surprised to realize just how little you knew about the world prior to taking the class.
After earning that degree in whatever career field you chose to pursue, you'll inevitably reflect back on the classes that surprised you most, and I guarantee that at least some of those will be from outside your major.