Every student’s ultimate goal in college is to graduate with a specific degree that will get them the job they desire. Once general education classes are complete, it’s all about registering for classes that count towards your major. Though the goal is to be proficient in a particular field of study, many universities encourage students to step outside of their major by requiring elective classes and liberal studies classes. Within the realm of elective and LBST courses at UNC Charlotte, the possibilities are endless. Inside the course catalog, classes range from scuba diving to jazz, and everything in between. Though these classes seem irrelevant and may not hold a candle to the significance of your future, if you enroll in one of these courses, you might really enjoy it. You may end up like I did at the beginning of the spring 2018 semester, sitting in a class about Vikings, unsure of what I signed myself up for. Now, I spend all my time that I’m not in my favorite LBST class watching ‘Norsemen’ on Netflix. With my positive experience gathered from stepping away from my major, I’ve constructed a list of 5 reasons why every college student should consider doing this too.
- Expand Your Horizon
The disadvantage of choosing one major in college is the ‘tunnel vision’ and pure focus that it takes to earn your degree. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that there is a whole other world of amazing, interesting things out there to be explored. My prime example is my new-found interest in Western culture and the brutal lifestyles of the Vikings that established itself midway through my semester, due to my LBST class. Never, and I mean EVER, would I have considered investigating Norse mythology and the history of the well-known term ‘Viking’, had I not enrolled myself in a class that forced me to do so. Now that I am educated on their practices, religions and cultures, I am fascinated with them and have made an effort to learn more about them on my own time.
- Random Knowledge
Everyone has that one friend who knows a little bit about everything and can hold, or create, conversations with nearly anyone. This is a gift. It is also quite impressive and can blow people’s minds when he/she starts listing off the chemical compound for common household substances that nobody else knows. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been jealous of these types of people, armed with unexpected knowledge of the world. Fortunately, each of us has the ability to start our own ‘random knowledge inventory’ by pursuing a subject that is arbitrary to your major, but totally compelling. I can assure you, after taking a class on Vikings, I’ll never have a dry conversation again.
- GPA Booster
Fortunately for us (and not so fortunate for the professors of these specific classes), electives and LBST courses have a reputation for being easy. Though this is sometimes the case, it’s not to say that these courses should be ignored, pushed to the side or skipped. The lack of challenging effort required for electives or LBSTs allows for the quality of work to be strengthened and elevated by pushing yourself above and beyond. Then, in a class that you would most likely receive an A in anyway, you can earn a high A, and the respect of your professor.
- Avoid Burnout
In order to be successful in your job, it is crucial to love whatever it is that you’re doing and to do whatever is it that you love. However, even when you love something, there is always a limit to how much you can take of that thing before it drives you crazy. This is true of anything, whether it be relationships, work or even extracurricular activities. So, taking a break from a concentrated field of study can be refreshing to the mind and can prevent ‘burnouts’ in the subject that you’re planning to get your degree in. Instead of avoiding burnouts by taking short breaks between study sessions, throw a little something different in the mix like the content of a new, exciting class. That way, you are still learning something, but it’s not like listening to your favorite song on repeat.
- New Netflix Shows
‘Netflix and chill’ is kind of hard to accomplish when you can’t find anything you want to stare mindlessly at for hours. After finishing F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for the third time, I started searching for something that I would enjoy just as much as I did Chandler’s sardonic humor and Phoebe’s eccentricity. Now that my interest in Norse history is piqued and my Netflix accounts knows that, a new Viking related series pops up every day making it easier to find a show to binge watch my way through, next. Before, I would’ve scrolled right past the TV series that I now indulge myself with daily.