It’s that time of year again where it’s time to start thinking about the classes you will take next semester. Whether you’re a senior shaping your final semester before graduation, a freshman starting to get a feel for what a college education has to offer, or a genius janitor who can solve complex math problems, now is the time to start thinking about your options. While we have already covered some ideas for college classes here and here, I have compiled a few additional suggestions:
These classes are great because most sociology and women’s studies classes are discussion-based and not solely fact-heavy. These classes can provide an interesting, new perspective on how to analyze the world around you by asking why and how things are they way they are instead of just screaming “It is what it is – now deal with it!” (like your parents used to scream to you whenever you weren’t permitted to eat cookies for dinner).
These courses are also cool because your studies can easily be put to the test by simply paying attention to your surrounding environment. Did that girl just flash a bartender to get a free beer? Looks like the over-sexualization of the female body gives into the patriarchy once again…or an audition for Girls Gone Wild – I’m not sure which.
Government/Political Science Classes
It probably would have been more interesting to take a government course during this past semester due to the election season. Nevertheless, taking a government course next semester could still be really interesting, especially if the class intends to go into the specifics of current policies and how our president hopes to revise them. Even if you’re not particularly interested in politics (I know I’m not), it’s always helpful to have some idea of what’s going on in the world around you, and government classes can be incredibly exciting during these trying times. It will also make you feel like less of a dumbass when someone brings up politics at a party and you actually have something to say in response other than, “Barack Obama? My grandmother says he’s the Muslim one, right?”
Art Class (in some form)
Whether it’s visual arts, film studies, music, or performance arts, taking an art class could be a really great way to branch out and learn to assess things around you from a different perspective. But be warned: many students go into the assumption that taking an art class will be “easy.” Just because art classes have a different way of evaluating success does not mean that these classes are any less difficult. So maybe you won’t have very many sit-down tests, but I can tell you that having to memorize a monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is definitely a more time-consuming process. You should really only try to take an art class if you’re willing to commit to your professor’s vision of artistic success.
These types of classes may not be within a specific subset of a major or minor, so they may be a bit more difficult to find. For instance, one class at my school was a discussion-based English class that analyzed the literary and artistic qualities of graphic novels; another government class that my friend took resulted in him writing a fifty-page paper on how the monsters and bad guys in horror films represent American fears during different political eras (i.e.: McCarthyism in the 1950s, post-9/11 terrorist fears in the 2000s). These classes tend to be very specifically inclined towards a particular subject, but if you can find a course that focuses on a subject you’re especially interested in, they can be fascinating to take.
Two of the most important skills you will learn in college are writing and public speaking, so it can be incredibly useful to take part in at least one class that will either require you to write a bunch of essays over the course of the semester (and actually grade you on your writing quality alongside your ideas) or require you to make a bunch of public, class presentations. These classes will likely contain very heavy workloads, but they will be worth it in the long run – trust me, learning how to speak and write eloquently is crucial for finding a job after you graduate. After all, who would employers rather hire – the one who speaks eloquently and can write a decent cover letter, or the one who avoids eye contact while talking about that chemistry class where he accidentally made crystal meth?
Class with the craziest professor on your campus
Every college campus has at least one professor who is notorious for being a crazy motherfucker whom students either completely love or completely hate. It’s definitely worth seeking these professors out and taking a class with them, regardless of their area of expertise because there is a very good chance that they will change your life.