Well, it’s pretty simply actually … it broadens your horizons. It makes sure that you leave this university with a little bit more information than on just one topic. Yep, I’m talking about general education courses, which are the bane of my existence. Would I have a 4.0 GPA without those nasty gen eds? Pretty close to it. Would I be as informed on a wide range of topics from geology and government to literature and international politics? Nope … not even close.
For those readers who are already Mount Union students, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Those pesky 100 or 200 level gen eds really are killer sometimes. For those readers who are looking into coming to Mount Union, you’ll know soon enough! I’m not here to bash these classes though, because I do honestly believe they are just as beneficial to a college experience as majorand minor classes.
I started thinking about this because once again because it’s a class that doesn’t go toward my major that will be pulling my GPA down a bit this semester, but then I got to thinking about what I was actually learning in the class. First of all, I’m learning how the world works. No one, NO ONE from any major can honestly tell me that knowing how the world works isn’t helpful. No matter if you are into science, education or religion … knowing how the world works is pretty integral. Second of all, I’m interacting with students who I usually don’t even see. This might also seem kind of trivial, but sometimes in major classes, we fall into comfortable groups. By junior and senior year, you’ve been in classes with the same people for your whole college career. You probably sit next to the same people, work on projects with the same people and pass the same people in the hallways. My gen ed course this semester is literally the only class I have that isn’t in T&H. Further, it’s the only class that isn’t in either T&H 101 or 201. No joke. Same two classrooms for all my classes, except ONE. Crazy, I know.
The last thing I’d like to say about general education classes and professors is that they work with you. Courses that count for general education are usually made up of students taking it for that reason and just a few who are taking it for a major class, so professors know what they’re getting into before the class starts at the beginning of the semester. They understand that this might not be your favorite subject or your best subject, so most of them do their best to make it better. Some professors throw in some humor just to spice it up, some professors take it slow and make sure everyone understands and some professors take an interdisciplinary approach. This is the reason I love my gen ed class this semester. We have a major final paper that we have to write and turn in on the last day of class and it obviously has guidelines surrounding the topic of the class; however, we had a whole lot of freedom when picking the topic. The professor suggested that we bring in our individual major if we want to, so naturally, I centered a political paper around psychology. How cool is that?!
Moral of the story: don’t knock general education courses until you give them a shot!