College. You know, the usual: risqué Halloween costumes, strings of all-nighters, beer pong contests and stories to last for decades…oh, and the four-year process of earning a diploma. But with the current state of our nation’s economy, our degrees are not as highly valued as they used to be, despite the rising prices of our annual tuition, textbooks and time. Therefore, here’s a list of practical college courses to ensure that you (and your parents and your state’s budget) are getting the most bang for every single buck:
Economics. It doesn’t matter what degree you’re pursuing, you’re ultimately doing it to make money – no matter what amount. Learn the basics of banking, rules of a prisoner’s dilemma, and the foundations of accounting. The concepts of supply and demand apply to everything, from hosted happy hours to using sex as collateral for…absolutely anything.
Public Speaking. You’ll earn class credit to collect confidence and practice the art of efficient gesticulating. Not only will you emerge with a GPA boost, but you’ll have a handful of strategies helpful for articulating your speech and standing with presence. You will never be afraid of a potential presentation to everyone in the office, one that even includes your boss’s boss. Honestly, knowing how to speak to people like the leasing agents at a car dealership will make a measurable difference – literally.
Human Nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, foods that claim to be “organic” or “low fat” may not always be. Your professors can tell you why you can’t keep the weight off with the Atkins diet, and what it really means to be healthy. Warning: what you learn may ruin a few appetites for the rest of your life. Especially if your professor is into video clips and documentaries. (Extra credit: look up if your university offers Pathology so you can finally get educated on diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity!)
Ethnic Studies or Gender Studies. America may be a melting pot, but the recipe in reality is not always so delicious - unnecessary tensions rise and inaccurate stereotypes are assumed. Stock up on politically correct pronouns for all genders (yes, there are more than two) and realize the struggles of every ethnicity, including your own.
Introduction to Cognitive Science. This class outlines the basic functions of both the mind and the brain – they’re different! Though the effects of caffeine, drugs and depression on the brain should be common knowledge, it isn’t. Find out the synapses behind sex addiction and the magic behind memories…and yes, it is true that those who learn how to play music at a young age physiologically develop larger brains!
Foreign Language. Pick one. Spanish, Italian, Chinese, sign language, you can’t lose. Hint: being bilingual is a useful skill to list on a résumé!
Environmental Conservation. What exactly is global warming? Why are gas prices on the rise – again? What kind of electricity can our houses run on when we retire? Measure the size of your own global footprint as you walk around the most wasteful country in the world. The environmental effects that are learned in this class can be directly applied to futures in business, engineering and even fashion and advertising (the green movement is a lucrative one!), as well as indirectly to our own daily lives.
Ultimately, college is all about expanding your horizons, meeting new people and pushing yourself to new boundaries, You might as well get credit for it – who knows, you may decide to pick up a minor and/or find a new major!
So what’s been the most practical class you’ve taken thus far?