Embrace and engage in Gen Ed classes

Ashley Brooke Boyd | Cartoonist

A lot of times we complain about having so many core curriculum requirements and think that if they aren’t directly related to our career then they aren’t useful. Instead of complaining, we should really be trying to make the most of these courses and embrace our time in them.

Whether you like the course or not, you are paying for it. If you just do what you can to pass instead of gaining something from the material, quite frankly, you are wasting your money.

We are privileged to be students. Not everyone is able to attend college, and by not embracing every course you take, you are doing a disservice to yourself and wasting the opportunity you have been given. Chances are, if you engage, you will learn something interesting that can be taken with you for the rest of your life.

Maybe one day you’ll be at a work conference, and a superior will begin talking about some famous work of art or aspect of American government. If you paid attention in your “Gen Ed” classes, you will have something to talk about and could even impress him or her while you’re at it.

Throwing it back to our editorial last week on self-fulfilling dread — if you go into something with a pessimistic attitude, by default, you will not enjoy it. A class is no different in this regard.

If you go into a class with a negative attitude, you set yourself up to resent every part of the experience. This mindset will lead to minimal effort and subpar class performance; however, if you went in with a positive attitude, you’re more likely to enjoy the course, and your grade could reflect that in a good way.

Paying attention in class and engaging also shows respect to the professor teaching the course. Although it may not be your passion, it is someone else’s; and it is kind to show some interest when in class.

You may find out you have a passion for something — like anthropology or sociology — that you never had the chance to study in high school. The beauty of college, and particularly a liberal arts education, is that you can delve into topics you may have not even known existed before.

Learning to make an effort and act positively doing the things we don’t necessarily want to trains us to be disciplined, more selfless and excel in other categories of life.