Do we really need to take so many General Education Courses?

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Hannah Curran | hcurran1@radford.edu

Most of us will spend the first two years here at college taking a large amount of classes that are irrelevant to our major. As an English major, I will suffer through my credit hours in both science and math where I will continually ask myself, “Why am I taking this?” While most of you probably ask the same thing, I think some of the core classes are actually necessary.

You should have to take your English based cores for good reading and writing skills. There are not many jobs out there where you will not have to read or write something on a daily basis. However, Gen Eds, such as science and math, should probably not be required. In my opinion, it’s a waste of time unless the class is in your specialized field. When will I as a writer be put into a science lab and asked to conduct an experiment? Probably never. Yet, I sit in a science class and lab for 4 hours a week. It can be a waste of your time if your degree has nothing to do with that class.

While I make the argument that you should not be required to take some of these core classes, I also think that on some levels, such as if you are an undecided major at this point, it can be very useful to help decide that. If you are undecided, taking classes in many different field areas can be very useful. Maybe you do not know you love science until you take that first class your freshmen year. As well as being helpful in that way, they also can be useful in case the major you end up graduating with is not what you end up always wanting to use. You can someday look back and say “wow I really enjoyed that math class I took”, and that can lead you to something else. They can offer really good guides on what you end up liking and not liking.

I came to college with my major decided; which is why I think they can be a waste of time in some cases. Working towards a specific degree, I look at taking a science and math as just something that slows me down. We pay thousands of dollars to attend a university and think about the money we could save if we didn’t have to take classes that were irrelevant to our majors and minors. We could probably save a year, to a year and a half, if we just cut out some core classes.

Core and Gen Ed classes can either benefit or hinder you as a student. In the long run, it is your education though. The more you learn the more you know and that is never a bad thing to take with you in life.