There’s a Solution!

8 Sep

One of the coolest things about taking college courses is the freedom to pick which classes will make up your schedule. Maybe you end up in a cooking class or a class about serial killers (I mean whatever floats your boat, right?). Really, the end goal when making a course schedule is to have it be a nice balance of both your academic requirements and your personal interests. It’s also a great opportunity to explore topics that spark curiosity! Sadly, it’s totally possible to find yourself having chosen something that just doesn’t quite fit with your personality or perhaps isn’t quite what you thought it’d be when you first signed up for it. Fear not, young student! It happens to lots of us and there ARE ways to either make the best of the situation or find good alternatives to “The Sociology of Miley Cyrus” (it’s an actual class offered at a college in New York).

Make some friends!

If there’s anything to consider when thinking up ways to making a class work out, it’s finding people in those classes to make the course work a little bit more bearable. Sometimes the best way to make a bad situation better is to have people around you that make it fun to be there in the first place. Making friends in your least favorite class will not only expand your social group, but it can also give you some pretty cool study buddies. Just because the material is boring doesn’t mean that class time/studying should be boring too!

Of course, sometimes even meeting new people can’t make the class bearable enough to stay enrolled in it. There may be times when you simply come across a class that, no matter what, there’s no way to get excited about it. Maybe this is because the course is too challenging. More often than not, students don’t initially like their courses because the material pushes them beyond what they think themselves capable of. Take for example Gen. Chem. Hundreds of students take this class their freshman year but there are a number, including myself, who can’t stand thinking about oxidation-reduction equations. Chemistry is an incredibly complex subject! But whether you think the material is complex or not, those who do have a hard time with it tend to feel discouraged a lot of the time. Classes like Chemistry are typically required courses for one’s major and that’s where the issue arises. What do you when the course you’re just not feeling AT ALL is necessary to complete your degree?

The alternatives:

The best option for most students is to get familiar with their professor. This means emailing, office hours, a quick conversation before or after class. Not only do most professors like getting to know their students, but it can also develop a pretty beneficial relationship with the person in charge of whether or not you pass the course. It’s more than okay to not like a class because of feeling discouraged but that doesn’t mean it should stay that way. Sure, you may not fully enjoy the material but at least you’re giving the class your full effort and that’s something that your professor will likely appreciate.

Another option, and one that most people don’t like to bring up, is considering whether a class is right for you. Many times the courses that people absolutely hate are a pretty good reflection of what the rest of your academic career will look like. A prospective medical school student who doesn’t like mathematics or any of their chemistry courses? Yeah… that might not play out so well within two years. It’s important to keep things like that in mind; certain degrees require certain types of courses in order to be completed. In other words, it’s okay to take the time so that you can think about whether you prioritize taking courses you actually enjoy to complete a degree or whether you prioritize a career goal more than anything. Not saying that one is better than another, but looking into different options could help situate you with material that won’t have you wishing you were somewhere else for the next four years.

College is supposed to be a fun experience for students–that includes classes as well. It’s not unusual to find yourself wishing you had taken a different course! That being said, it’s also not unusual to find yourself looking for ways to make the course fun or to reconsider the material that you’ll be working on for the semester, possibly even the next few years. Whatever the alternative turns out to be, the most valuable thing a student can do while in college is take advantage of the opportunities provided here. This isn’t high school anymore, with college comes the freedom to learn about anything and everything you choose to.



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