Q: Which gen ed courses should I enroll in?

Every major has a curriculum of classes that students are required to complete prior to graduation. In addition to these requirements, most majors also stipulate students need to take a certain number of hours of electives either within or outside the college, and every student has to fulfill their general education requirements.

Fitting required courses into your schedule is easy—it’s pretty much decided for you. But choosing gen ed and elective classes allows for more flexibility.

The following are electives and gen ed courses I have taken that were not only fun and fairly easy—they were useful as well.

Intro to Collaborative Learning (LAS 100)

This course can only be taken your freshman year in conjunction with a course that has a separate “Learning Community” section. A group of your classmates meet for one hour each week outside of lecture and discussion to learn about different resources the campus has to offer. You receive an additional credit hour for very little work. I only took this because it was the only section available, but it ended up helping me out a great deal my freshman year, and I still use resources I learned about from this course

Perspectives in Astronomy (ASTR 100)

This was a totally random pick on my part when I registered for my first semester at the University, but to this day it remains one of my favorite classes I have taken. It satisfies a physical science requirement, and in addition to learning about the sun, stars and planets, you get to do some star gazing, go to the campus observatory, and attend a presentation at Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

Mythology of Greece and Rome (CLCV 115)

Another of my all-time favorite classes, this course fulfills both a literature and the arts and a western comparative culture requirement. Greek and Roman myths have more drama and infidelity than a modern soap opera, and it is interesting to see how ancient classics influence modern works. Take this course with Professor Solomon and I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Ice Skating I (KIN 104)

The Kinesiology department offers several courses like this, including badminton, yoga and outdoor adventure. They are only one credit hour, so they are great “filler” courses if you need an extra hour added to your schedule. They’re easy, you get some exercise, and it’s a break from sitting in a classroom.

Human Sexuality (CHLH 206)

Sex is a topic on almost all college students’ minds. This class isn’t your typical middle school and high school scare tactic course to deter you from engaging in sexual activity. Instead, you learn about all the options available to you, and how to maintain your sexual health. This is especially important to learn about in a college environment, where sexually transmitted infections have been on the rise.

World Religions (RLST 110/PHIL 110)

In addition to satisfying either a non-western or western comparative culture requirement, this course opens your mind to other religions and cultures. While you may have heard of the religions of different cultures, this course will get you to understand the differences and similarities of the major religions of the world. For me, college has been all about exposing myself to different ways of life and views that are unlike my own.

Intro to Sociology (SOC 100) and Intro to Psych (PSYC 100)

I put these together because they both provide the same function; they are both prerequisites to many other great sociology and psychology classes. Sometimes these courses are overbroad, and there is a ton of information to get through in a short period of time, but they open the doors to more courses.