Explore your interests

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Explore your interests

By Yunjo Jeong

College coursework is a burden for everybody. The constant strain to work for a good grade has the potential to stress students out to the point where they simply want to stop trying. At least, I’ve felt that way.

I take eighteen credit hours, and sometimes the workload is difficult for me to handle and I wonder if I chose the right courses. In the end, I feel that I did because, though my classes might be difficult and time-consuming, I’m interested in them. 

I think other students could also benefit from choosing courses they’re interested in, however difficult or unrelated to their majors the classes might be. 

The University offers an extensive number of courses from which students can choose. The list of potential classes seems endless, with great variety and specificity. 

With such a large number of courses comes the tsunami of learning opportunities.

Registering for courses, therefore, can be a difficult task, as even in one subject area there are so many classes to choose from. Within the field of mathematics, for example, we are offered everything from single-variable basic calculus courses to complex multivariable vector calculus and linear algebra courses.

And to every student, different courses in different academic fields vary in degrees of difficulty and appeal. 

For me, as an engineering student, elementary mathematics courses are not burdensome or fun. Statistics classes would be a bit more enjoyable because they’re closely related to the sciences, but I would still have a hard time learning the new concepts. 

But, personally, I’d rather take something interesting than study something I find boring or simple. 

Often times, students may have to choose between difficult but interesting courses or easy but boring ones.

Wondering what to choose?

I think it is always wiser to go for the courses that attract the students’ minds regardless of difficulty. Perhaps overly difficult courses should be left for the future, but a bit of challenge should be accepted with no problem, especially in an interesting field of study.

College is for learning. There would be little valuable point in taking courses that are easier and boring for the individual, especially considering the costs of being a college student.

Don’t be afraid of the workload. Enjoy learning what you’ve always wanted to learn. After all, we are in an academic institution in which we get to not only learn, but also take challenges and test our abilities to the limit. 

Taking the easy way out would not be the best idea.

Most students are sensible enough to register for courses that are interesting to them. But there are some times when students simply want to reduce their workload and have a bit of leftover time to socialize and have fun. And that is perfectly legitimate. 

The only point I want to make is that students should not sacrifice their learning opportunities for free time.

What students learn in college lasts a lifetime. 

I’m an engineering student, but I like economics as well. And there is no saying that I will never be associated with economics in the future; in fact, whatever we learn right now could come in handy, even if additional courses we take have nothing to do with our majors. 

You never know what information might be useful if you stumble your way onto “Jeopardy!” 

On a more serious note, there are many basic courses in every field. And they certainly will help if the student has no background information whatsoever on that subject and wishes to gain some. 

For example, I have no idea what statistics people do, and if I were to learn statistics, I would have to start with the most fundamental course material. But I hope to embark on the adventure in the future. 

Students should not be afraid to take on new perspectives or learn new things. 

Be adventurous. Don’t just dive deep into your major, as helpful and desirable as that is. 

There may be many interesting fields you wish to explore, maybe even something other than your major or selected course material, and you should explore them. 

Yunjo is a freshman in Engineering. He can be reached at [email protected].