Hamlet holding a skull marked 101

Alas, poor 101 I knew him well.

“Get all of your gen eds out of the way” they’d told me sternly that day (so long ago) when I sat next to the temporary advisor I’d been assigned, “it will be better to focus on your major later on, just get the requirements out of the way.”

It sounded logical to me so I shrugged and just like that my first college schedule was quickly filled with intro classes and 101s. The little submit button was clicked and I was sent on my way for the next freshman to take my seat.

It was a good idea in theory, but here I am taking chem 100 in my second to last semester. Every day I walk into a lecture hall full of 40 strangers and three or four acquaintances and think to myself, “actually, this is fine too.”

Like some other WSU students I have two majors and a minor; English Literature and Global Studies.  After that first schedule of pure gen eds I elected to switch it up and I spent three years taking one or two gen eds at a time in between my major classes.

Every time I did I found myself happy to have made the choice. Taking two majors at the same time has given somewhat unique opportunity to see, from the outside, that like-minded people are attracted to similar majors.

My global studies major is filled with politically-minded history buffs, while my Literature major is populated by creative philosophers that love to argue. My chemistry class however, has history majors, math majors, various types of scientists, law students, and more.

Basically, a whole variety of people that without gen eds I would have likely never met.

It’s like they say; “variety is the spice of life” but instead it’s “new people are the spice of classes”

Or something.

Once you get a few years in it’s always nice to introduce new people into your life, whether it be classmates or professors. Beyond the obvious motivation of new friends, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to hear new viewpoints on topics you previously may not have found interesting. ‘

Plus taking intro classes a little later down the line lets you apply knowledge you’ve accrued over the years to different topics. It’s a great way of expanding your skill sets.

There’s nothing wrong with getting classes not directly related to your career out of the way early on, but there’s also absolutely nothing wrong with spreading it out.

Next semester I’ll be taking four 400 level literature courses and one 100 level philosophy course for my final semester. I gotta say that I’m perfectly happy with the arrangement. I’ll get the chance to experience a new group of people and a new professor in a (somewhat) relaxing atmosphere amidst the chaos of final portfolios and endless thesis papers.

It’s your college experience so whatever you choose should feel comfortable to you. Only you can make that decision.

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Sophie Kaplan

Sophie graduated in 2014 with BA degrees in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Japanese Studies. She is from Northfield, MN and her interests include playing video games, cooking, studying Japanese language and culture and traveling.

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