Why You Should Take Classes Outside Of Your Major

Why You Should Take Classes Outside Of Your Major

Worst case scenario, you know more than you want to about volcanoes.

14
Covenant College

As a freshman among the last group to register for classes, I got stuck with four classes about things that I hadn't planned on studying. I had been hoping to get into some abnormal psychology class (within my major requirements) and delve into the brain for a semester. Instead, I spent the semester writing Freudian analyses of gothic texts, learning how to identify a rock just by looking at it, and memorizing Chinese characters and pronunciations in hopes of speaking the language.

Obviously as a college freshman, I really wasn't sure what to expect, so I just kind of went for it. The classes ended up being really intriguing for the most part, and I definitely would not have chosen them for myself. Freudian analysis sounds boring when you read it, but the satisfaction I get from knowing how to synthesize a gothic text through the eyes of Freud or Derrida was worth all the trouble. And anyone who chooses to teach about something like that HAS to be interesting. I know this from experience.

As for the whole Chinese situation, well, I was really expecting it to be a semester of me trying to understand what sounded like a bunch of gibber gabber and scrape by with a C. Sometimes, it did get a little bit challenging, but I hope I don't ever stop learning Chinese. It's a beautiful, musical language, and it is not as hard as people make it out to be unless you consider it in terms of English. Learning it is like solving a puzzle, and it only gets more enjoyable as my understanding advances.

This being said, any subject area that you aren't as familiar with is made more enjoyable by the passion of the instructing professor. My Chinese professor LOVES teaching us Chinese even if we have literally no idea what's going on and need him to repeat himself twelve times. Despite any cultural barrier that may be present, I have never doubted his excitement and knowledge about what he's teaching us and how to teach it. I've never felt like I was bothering him with all my questions and failed homework attempts. His love for teaching and for the language affects our desire to learn and put work into it.

Professors who treat you like they're paying you for the class and don't have time for you to not be an expert on the material may not be worth your semester, so tread carefully. I cannot stress the importance of taking classes that don't have anything to do with your major because they open up new doors for you, doors that could lead you to new vocational paths, and doors that could lead you to the other side of the world.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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