3 Reasons Why Gen Ed Classes Aren't a Waste of Time

General education courses aren't just "fluff" classes. Here are three reasons why gen eds are worth your time and effort as you work toward your college degree.

It used to be standard that a student could expect to finish their bachelor’s degree in four years. But many factors, including changing majors and holding down a job while studying, have contributed to many students finishing in five or even six years. At first glance, it may seem as if general education courses only exacerbate the problem. Why should you have to take a bunch of “fluff” classes when you’re having a hard enough time finishing school? But general education courses offer a lot of benefits. Here, we'll take a look at scenarios in which they can actually help you.

1. They let you explore your many interests

Imagine that you enter college your freshman year knowing exactly what you’d like to study. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you’re determined to earn your degree in Business Administration. You know you’ll be working hard in the classes toward your major, but you also excelled in choir in high school and would like to continue to pursue singing. There may be a general education course in vocal arts, and if not, there’s bound to be a musical elective at your university. This is an important point: Don’t be so focused on earning your degree that you feel obligated to participate in courses only if they're required. By all means, if you have other passions, pursue them. This is what college is for!

Related: College Options for Students With Multiple Major Interests 

2. They can help you discover your major

This is where gen eds are particularly useful. Say, for example, you excelled at math and history in high school, but you’re not exactly sold on committing four years to either subject. General education courses will expose you to a wide variety of subjects, ranging from Geology to Anthropology to Drama. In college, you’ll find that the variety of courses you can take is much broader in scope than what you experienced in high school. While you’re still mulling over the possibilities for your major, you can take a year or more of general education courses, which may introduce you to an area you’re passionate about that you didn’t even know existed.

3. They help you become a well-rounded student

This is another important way in which gen eds can enrich your life. For example, if you’re majoring in Marine Biology, it doesn’t hurt to take a course or two in journalism. Although not directly related to your major, developing writing skills may help you in your career down the road. If you’re called upon to write a grant or a professional paper, you’ll have acquired the tools you need to excel at these tasks.

Related: 4 Things to Consider When Choosing Electives in College

Before you start grumbling about your general education courses, consider the factors outlined above. Universities don’t require these classes in order to make graduating more difficult. They truly want you to succeed and come through your college education a stronger student and person.

Learn how to pick the right courses that fit your major, your interests, and your schedule with these 5 Smart Tips for Choosing Your College Classes

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Ruth Aguilar

Ruth Aguilar

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me by providing me with many scholarship opportunities and information about universities I want to attend. What I love about CollgeXpress is how it provides a variety of information, and as the first child attending a university next year, it has been very essential and helpful. I’m so grateful for this because the information provided by CollegeXpress has also helped me see that there are so many college opportunities, and it always informs me by email. In other words, CollegeXpress has been like a guide for me as a future college student.

Aaliyah

Aaliyah

High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

Fabiola Rodriguez

Fabiola Rodriguez

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me on my journey to get to the school of my first choice by showing me all the options I have. I didn’t know of the College of Southern Nevada until I went on this website, and it helped me look for other choices and compare what colleges would be right for me.

Anthony Vidal

Anthony Vidal

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress has helped me in a series of different ways when it comes to finding scholarships and learning information about different universities. I actually found my dream university through CollegeXpress and am working on getting there.

Kamal

Kamal

Student, University of the People

I registered with CollegeXpress and filled all my necessary and relevant information as well as the course I wished to study. A few days later, an email was sent to me with a list of schools offering the course; amongst them was the University of the People, the school I got admitted to.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Geneva College

Beaver Falls, PA