Don’t default to the ‘Easy A’


By Leah Pearlman, Columnist

The time of year is here when our group chats and classroom chatter are riddled with talk about spring class registration.

A time when every other GroupMe message reads something like, “Guys, what is a really easy non-Western I could take???” or “Can someone give me a really easy online class worth two credit hours?”

Sky Lalwani, senior in engineering, confirmed the struggle that most students have around registration: “(I take easy classes) for anything that’s not required by my major. Within my major, it’s a combination of what I find interesting and the easiness. I also delay taking a class for a semester if I know a specific professor is hard.”

A lot of students here on campus may still have no idea what they want to do with their majors down the road (or even have a major yet). So when it comes to choosing their general education requirement classes, some may opt for an “easy A” class that they know will boost their GPA.

However, when you finally graduate, you will start a job and then maybe a family. You will have all the chores and responsibilities that come with living the lifestyle you choose. You will inevitably be too busy in the future to learn about post-colonial literature or how to properly draw a scene with the right proportions using perspective and proper shading.

These things may not sound interesting to you, but if you scroll down the Course Explorer, you will undoubtedly find a class that does.

College is the time to find your passions and interests. There is a variety of general education classes that can expand your knowledge of your chosen field, or even just excite you outside of what you dream to do in the future.

It is completely understandable to want an “A.” I want that grade too! But the classes that are a little bit harder and actually interesting to you are worth the extra work.

“A job that you love … gives you extra motivation to meet your goals,” CEO of Kii Corporation Masanari Arai said.  “And when you do, the sense of accomplishment is outstanding.”

When I’m fascinated by a subject, I do well in that class because I actually care about my work and want to do well. This has been good for me so far — many of my classes demand a high amount of work. But when I enjoy them, I excel.

Piper Bold, senior in LAS, chose classes with topics that she truly found interesting and knew she would do well in. She said, “I only had to take two gen eds, so I picked easy classes I thought sounded interesting or I knew would be an easy grade.”

Beyond simple letter grades and classes, college is about meeting new people and making strong connections with those you could be working with in the future. After all, networking is what the job market is all about.

Professor and Chair of Foundations in the School of Art and Design Chris Kienke said, “(Students) should default to curiosity rather than choosing easy A’s. This way you actually have something to talk about with the other students because you hold common interests.”

If I took an “easy A” course about something I found really boring, I would find it hard to relate to the other students in the class. And, honestly, I would skip lectures more often than if I had friends in the class and found it interesting.

USA TODAY College even urges that you should retake classes that hurt your GPA before taking a course that is completely irrelevant to your major or interests. Doing so will prove you’re focused on improving your skills. If anything, it will prove more helpful than a random general education class about disastrous weather when your major is Political Science, and you don’t care about weather.

It’s tempting to look at your general education courses as a list of unrelated topics you just have to check off before you get to the things you really want to study. But your general education experience is a program in its own right, with its own role in your education.

And if you decide to choose classes that truly interest you or at least complement your major over an “easy A” course, you will majorly benefit in the end.

When it comes to your future, “easy A” classes will not aid you, and they will not expand your knowledge because you simply won’t care about the material.

Leah is a sophomore in Media and FAA.
[email protected]