Your four years of college will include many interesting and not-so-interesting courses. Hopefully, when combined, these courses will produce a well-rounded intelligent citizen ready to contribute to society and earn a living.
Long after graduation, you’ll find yourself using some of the knowledge (hopefully, your major) everyday. Other courses will disappear from your mind as quickly as they appear.
For example, I now only think of the two required semesters of Western Civilization when Alex Trebek asks a question related to the Ottoman Empire.
A few classes outside my major, though, have yielded a value far beyond the tuition dollars paid for them. I advise any college student to find time to take five courses. Perhaps one or two will be required and one or two can fill elective options. Even if that’s not the case, don’t graduate without these on your transcript and in your head!
When you ask people what scares them most, the most common answer is public speaking. This class may not completely cure a fear of public speaking, but it can give you the confidence you need to make a presentation in front of crowds. More than that, the class teaches how a good speech is organized. You’ll learn how to use humor (and when to avoid it) and how to keep an audience interested. Speech classes generally give plenty of practice in writing, researching and delivering speeches…all followed by valuable feedback.
This one is obvious. Even though the first class is very basic, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, others and relationships. This class will improve your parenting skills, your skills as a spouse and give you a broader understanding of mankind.
Just as psychology provides an understanding of how the human mind works, biology provides a look into how the human body and other forms of life work. My instructor was great and I was in the class with a bunch of nursing students, so we really got deep in the subject. I learned the basics of nutrition, how my body works and how to tell when/what is wrong. (And the dissecting part isn’t but a day or two!)
I actually was able to take this as an elective, but my cousin is now taking it as a non-credit course. She had to pay an extra $100, but it’s worth it. Take it early in your academic career and you’ll reap benefits in hours of time saved. It doesn’t matter what your major is…most of your junior and senior years will be spent reading. Speed reading offers practical skills that increase your reading speed while actually improving comprehension. So, it can actually help on exams like the LSAT and the GRE.
Okay, everyone has to take English composition. In this class, you’ll learn how to write essays, the basics of grammar and how to document research. That’s all great, but basically you’ll learn how to write for college. Journalism teaches you how to write for life. You’ll learn the principles of good writing for after college, when you’re expected to produce reports, analysis and correspondence that others will want to read.