In college, it’s important to focus on your major and taking care of general education requirements.
Since that’s what’s getting you your degree, it’s easy to get so lost in your major that you don’t really delve elsewhere. I’ve become very focused on trying to fit a bunch of classes in so I can graduate sooner.
While major and general education requirements are really important, I recommend stepping out of your comfort zone. You have a variety of subjects you could learn at your fingertips. This is the best time to test out your various interests – especially if you’re an underclassman still working out what you want to do.
When making your schedule for spring semester, look beyond what’s required of you. Here are a couple subjects and class categories that I’d suggest looking into to jazz up your schedule.
- Dance Classes
Last year, I took a dance class for the first time in my life. It was one of the best scheduling decisions I’d made that semester. I’ve always had an interest in dance, but classes at home were too expensive or too inconvenient for me to attend. I had other extracurriculars. Another commitment simply wouldn’t fit into my schedule.
Coming to college, I was offered the chance to take a dance class as a part of my schedule. Not only was this an easy way to make time for it, but it was also covered in my tuition. I immediately signed up for a contemporary dance course and it became the highlight of every day for me. After studiously scribbling math problems and writing essays, being able to move around was a miraculous reprieve. It allowed me to de-stress through physical movement and connect with the people around me.
For most people, classes involve sitting at a desk and taking notes. It’s easy to cramp up and get lost in thought after enough time in this dreary routine. Mixing a dance elective into your schedule is a great way to get moving during the day and prepare yourself for further classes.
- Art Classes
Similar to dance classes, art classes can help you relax and refresh your mind. Whether it’s painting, drawing, or even sculpting, taking on an art class can allow you to release your creative instincts and create something beautiful.
Although I, personally, have not taken an art class yet, it’s been recommended to me on multiple occasions. Even though I’m not a great artist, I’m excited by many of the courses I’m considering adding to my schedule for the upcoming semester. You don’t need to be an expert to make art – it’s simply a way to express your emotions through paint or paper.
For any major, delving into a field of art can be a healthy change from basic lecture classes.
- Combat and Other Skill-Based Courses
Recently, I’ve realized certain skills can be extraordinarily useful. If you’re able to speak a language, vacations to countries native in that language are suddenly a lot easier. Being able to swim or scuba dive opens up opportunities for you to experience new things. Knowing body combat is useful in learning how to protect yourself. Skills don’t have to be a huge part of your lifestyle – they can just be bits of knowledge you pick up in your journey through life.
If you have time in your schedule, you may consider picking up a few new skills. They may not contribute directly to your degree, but you never know when they may become useful. Look into a variety of classes that work on teaching these skills. Some of them may seem useless to you now – why do you need to know scuba diving if you don’t even live near a lake? – but it’s good to at least have it in your back pocket for that one day when you do need it.
- Courses that Explore Your Other Interests
Even though everyone’s expected to choose a particular major, most of us are interested in a variety of subjects. I may be an astrophysics major, but I love journalism and political science. I also fell in love with computer science after a class I took last year.
Part of figuring out what you want to do with your life involves looking into these secondary interests. Sometimes, these interests can turn into minors. Or, if you find you like the classes enough, interests could become a second major. There’s no reason to cross anything off your list if you haven’t taken classes in it yet. I definitely recommend putting a credit or two into courses on topics that excite you.
Taking classes apart from your major isn’t useless. In fact, discovering different courses can be beneficial to both your mental health and to your abilities. Don’t ignore a class simply because it doesn’t match with what’s needed this upcoming spring semester. This is your chance to explore your options and really make the most of your tuition.