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Classes I enjoy or classes colleges care about?

Besides the core classes and classes I need to fulfill requirements, I have opportunities to take courses I am really interested in, but aren't truly related to paths I may be taking in college and beyond. For example, I will likely go into a science field, yet would love to take ceramics.
I will probably take it anyways because I can't plan my future down to the detail and can't totally depend on pursuing science just yet. However, I am interested if it is even worth a worry over- do colleges care at all, or do they just want students to do what interests them, even if it means a class that isn't necessary?
#college #july20


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John’s Answer

Nadia you might have heard the term “well-rounded student” before. That’s because that is the goal of most university programs. While the primary focus is on your specific degree, general education programs force students to venture outside their department. College electives do that on a different level. College electives are meant to be fun and interesting. You can use the classes to benefit you however you want. As discussed, you can go in the other direction of what your major is or take classes that meld with your major. They can be an immense benefit to your professional career. There are also several immediate benefits.

BOOST YOUR GPA
Most majors start with basic courses and get more intensive the deeper into the program you get. Especially starting around the junior year (or equivalent), you may want to look at electives as a way to maintain your GPA. I’m not suggesting that all your electives be easy-A courses, but if you know you have a heavy required course load coming up, it might be nice to balance that with a comparatively easier elective. Something with homework that doesn’t take quite as much attention can help keep you afloat when you’re drowning in upper-level coursework.

HAVE A LITTLE FUN
While there are some requirements in your major that are intriguing, not every course is going to leave you wanting more. If you know that such a semester is on its way, look into electives that will keep you engaged throughout the semester. Motivation can be difficult to find if none of your classes interest you. Electives can also offer a mental break from a semester filled with major-requirements that are all about the same subject.

FIRST CHECK WITH YOUR ACADEMIC ADVISOR
Your academic advisor can help you understand the best options for completing your degree, so obtaining pre-approval before you register for any courses/credits is key. Getting classes pre-approved ensures that the credits you earn will apply to your degree program and will eliminate the possibility of duplicating a course you have already completed. Your academic advisor can also help you search and select courses at other regionally accredited institutions.

Nadia having experience and knowledge in areas outside your field of study can only serve to make you a better consumer of information. Being informed is important in this day and age, whether it’s about politics, history, science, social issues or Art — the list goes on. Taking classes from other departments will give you an insight into things you might not have considered before. And unlike general education classes, the choice is completely yours.

Hope this was Helpful Nadia

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Madison’s Answer

Hi Nadia,

You should absolutely take a ceramics class if that is something you are passionate about! While colleges do want to see that you have pushed yourself to take a challenging curriculum, they also love to see that you pursue the things that you enjoy doing. Taking classes on topics you are really interested in will make you a more well-rounded student, and therefore, an even stronger candidate when applying to colleges. Remember to balance your schedule and your life between activities that will advance your education and career as well as ones that will nurture your soul!

The bottom line is that you do not have to have your career path decided before you get to college. You should feel empowered to spend your time in high school exploring topics that interest you without stressing over how that may impact your future career.

-Madison

Madison recommends the following next steps:

Reach out to the schools you are most interested in applying to and ask what they look for in college applicants and what type of courses they want candidates to have taken.

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Sarah’s Answer

Personally I went to a liberal arts college for exactly the reason of being able to take classes that interested me in addition to "core" classes. These classes, while perhaps not "marketable" on their face will be a valuable opportunity for you to get a birds-eye view of career paths you may have not thought about, and they could also help you in a future career. My college major was in Accounting but I took the time to collect a minor in music as well. On its face the music minor does not appear to have done much for my career in Accounting , but having a creative outlet was vital and continues to be vital as I move into the professional world and due to my extended knowledge about music and arts in general allows me to connect with people based on the things they love outside of work which makes networking and making a positive impact on others a breeze when the opportunity arises. While there is definitely benefit to taking "marketable" classes in college (such as general business courses) I say that taking less marketable ones allow you a better opportunity to market yourself and if you can bring up or relate experiences from these courses to an interviewer it will be even more likely that you will stand out and be more memorable than someone who just talked about business the whole time.

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Joe’s Answer

If you were a college administrator how would you feel if you found out a student was worried about taking a class that they really liked due to the school thinking ill of it? Would you be happy knowing your student might be tying their self up in emotional knots? Do you get my point? Of course you would want your student to be as reasonably happy as possible. Why would it be any different for you? Dear child be good to yourself! You sound responsible and will do what is required to be successful. It saddens me to know children are worried about being themselves. I wish you well and any way if schools didn't want you to take classes such as pottery then they wouldn't have electives as part of their curriculum , right?

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Abby’s Answer

Hi Nadia,

I'd agree that you should definitely consider taking classes you may be interested in, even as a hobby! You never know when those skills or experiences may come up in the future, regardless of what career you choose. I'd take a look first at what courses you need to fulfill and see what opportunities there are for these other fun classes. It's also good to balance out your courseload with classes that are relatively more relaxing.

For example, I took a graphic design class in high school that I later used during an internship at one of my college's offices. It was something I was interested in, but hadn't necessarily thought to pursue as a career. Even with ceramics, that will likely teach you important skills in being detail-oriented and patience in getting to an end result. Good luck as you continue exploring what you want to do!

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Darin’s Answer

Hello Nadia, college is the best time to explore and try something new. If you see something that catches your eye and you've been wanting to try it, do it. It also offers you a semester to just relax and take a mental break from taking those core classes that are required for your major

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Nadia! I agree with the comments, I took pottery class and I loved it! I think it's good to pursue your hobbies and these will make you a well rounded applicant when applying to college!
Best of luck!

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