By Melanie Spina
Most of us start college expecting to only take classes related to our majors. Personally, at my high school, the classes I had to take were already chosen for me. I didn’t have a choice in taking a subject that I might be interested in; I was never given an option; all classes that I was required to take were the only ones offered to me.
Coming to college, I always thought, “There is no way I am taking a class that is probably not beneficial for my major.” I didn’t want to think of taking math or science again and I hated the fact that I had to take the core classes as it was. Taking any class outside my major wasn’t in my thought process.
What’s funny though is that through taking one of these so called core requirements, I found myself falling in love with a different major and eventually making it my minor.
Having studied two different types of fields, I realized that, although taking classes outside of your major might sometimes make you feel like you are wasting your time and perhaps money you really aren’t. You might discover something new you are passionate about, or that class might actually be beneficial to your future in the professional world. Everything overlaps; therefore; taking classes that may have little to do with what you are studying is not completely a waste of time.
A lot of majors require a certain amount of free elective credits, where you can take any classes that you may be interested in. Some students tend to forget that they have these credits until their final semester, like Marisa Kofmehl, a senior public relations major, whose two classes this semester consist of free electives. “I think at first I was mostly just focused on my major,” Kofmehl said. “You know, getting all the major requirements done before I thought of taking any other courses.”
Kofmehl will be taking a ceramics class and a sociology class this semester and she claims to be excited about both. “I chose ceramics because I really enjoyed it when I took a similar class in high school,” she said. “The reason why I chose a sociology class is because I’ve always looked at it as the study of people and I think that could really be beneficial for a career like public relations.”
Sometimes students just feel that they don’t have enough time to take classes outside their majors or that his or her major doesn’t allow them to do so. For example, Victoria Onorato, a sophomore who is planning on entering the field of communications, thinks that taking classes outside of your major can be a hit-or-miss. “For me, it was a great way to really test the waters in fields I normally wouldn’t pick,” she said. “The only downfall is the fact that even if you take a class and you were bad at it before, you might dread taking the class.”
Onorato uses the example of how when she was in high school she took a trigonometry class that led her to hating math but then she took one in college last semester with Professor Losonczy and she loved the course. “I think it’s great to take courses outside of your major to get a different perspective of life and what you really want,” Onorato said.
With everything becoming multiplatform, it’s better to be prepared and have knowledge of various fields rather than have no knowledge at all and just being prepared for one specific job. Taking classes that are not in your major requirements can help you prepare yourself for this, it makes you a well rounded person and shows that you are not only open but have incentive of learning things outside of your comfort zone.