Once you’ve taken all of your core classes to fulfill your degree requirements, you’ll have a whole semester or two of electives, courses you take because they interest you or will round out your schedule. But there are so many to choose from! How will you know whether you ought to take another math class, or opt for something more… fun? Or more artsy? Of course, you should consult a counselor at your college or university, but if you’ve gotten the go-ahead to take whatever you like, I can make some suggestions! Here are 7 electives to take in college…
1. Foreign Language
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Simply put, taking a foreign language in college will make you a much better, well-rounded candidate for everything from study abroad programs to graduate school to your dream job. It’s also helpful when traveling, of course. Even many community colleges offer several choices for a foreign language; the community college I attend offers Arabic, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and French…
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Regardless of how you feel about science and religion, the study of anthropology will prove to be fascinating. It’s one of the more difficult electives I’ve taken, but it’s so interesting, and so helpful!
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No matter what sort of field you choose to go into, chances are, somewhere in your academic and professional career, you’ll be called on to present something to your clients or peers. That’s why having a speech or public speaking course will come in handy — you’ll learn how to present without feeling nervous.
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In addition to being called upon to present, you’re also likely to have to write a paper or a speech at some point, and that’s when having a writing class in your background will be helpful. You don’t need to be the next Shakespeare, but you ought to know how to kill adverbs and adjectives, and how to write to different audiences.
5. Phys Ed
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Sure, I took physical education and health classes in high school, and I know my way around a gym, but I learned so much useful information in my college phys ed course! I learned about why exercise and a proper diet are important, which includes a lot more than fitting into your favorite jeans.
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No matter how many art classes I take, I’ll never be much of a painter, sculptor, photographer, or even a sketch artist. But that doesn’t mean learning about art isn’t interesting, and won’t enrich my life. I definitely enjoy going to the art museum a lot more now that I know what’s what and who’s who.
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I can’t sing and I can’t play music. I’m not even good at Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but you know what? I can identify the gorgeous classic and jazz music I hear, and that’s marvelous. Music and music appreciation are relatively easy, very enjoyable courses, and will round out your electives schedule very nicely.
These are only a handful of the courses most colleges and universities offer, and the ones I’ve found the most interesting and helpful. If none of these appeal to you, check your school’s course offerings and choose something else! There are likely hundreds of other classes to choose from. Which of these electives did you, or will you, enjoy? Or is there something else you loved, or plan to take?
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