Why General Education Requirements Aren’t So Bad
With any college degree program comes a certain number of general education requirements, which often get a bad reputation from students.
From “boring” to “unnecessary,” several negative adjectives are used to describe these requirements, which fill up the first two years of college for many four-year students.
Despite the common dislike for gen. ed. courses, they have some obvious benefits that can stick with you throughout the rest of your college career and beyond.
1. They broaden your horizons.
Many colleges and universities require general education classes to ensure students are receiving a diversified and well-rounded education.
Though it may be difficult to see how a science class can benefit a business major or how an American literature class can benefit an engineering major, the idea is that the more you know about a variety of subjects, the better future employee and society member you will be.
2. They ease you into the college experience.
Though some general education classes are unquestionably difficult, many of them are typically easier than the in-depth courses you will take within your major, making them a good way to ease into the rest of your college career.
This is why many colleges often recommend that students finish up their general education requirements early, before getting into their major.
Things you learn in your gen. ed. classes can also help you with assignments you will face in other courses. The most obvious examples of this are required English classes. These courses will teach you how to write college-level research papers, which you will do frequently in other classes.
3. They could help you discover your true passion.
You may come into college feeling sure of your major, only to have your feelings change when you start taking classes.
For some people, this change of heart happens a few years into their college careers, once they begin taking classes in their declared major. For others, it can happen while taking a general education course that piques their interest.
Even if general education requirements don’t convince you to change your major, they could help you decide on a minor.
Many students choose a minor not based on how it could complement their major, but on whether or not they enjoy the subject. So, if you take a gen. ed. course you enjoy but don’t want to make it your major, declaring it as a minor would be a good alternative.
It is true that you probably won’t enjoy every general education class you take. However, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn can go a long way in making those classes much less dreadful.