August 22, 2011
Real Life College Student Blog: Consider the Possibilities When Choosing Classes
Today’s Real Life College Student Blog comes from Utah college student, Cole Spicker. He currently studies Chemistry and Spanish and really enjoys reading, good food and great friends. Cole admits he’s a little “obsessed with education” and hopes to make lasting, positive contributions to society. It has been just a little while since Cole’s last blog post due to some medical complications, but he is back and ready to teach you all about college from the college student perspective. After Cole took some some very much needed time to recover from his medical complications, he wrote an article relating it to the college experience and and the opportunities that anyone has to explore and discover during their college years. Enjoy!
So, I haven’t posted for a while (my deepest apologies)…and I promise I have a horrible reason for this. A blood clot formed in my brain and burst; I fell to the ground and had a bunch of grand mal seizures and was rushed to the hospital where I stayed for two-and-a-half weeks. I told you it was a horrible reason. My right side was paralyzed and I couldn’t talk or walk for a week. However, after a miraculous, near-full recovery, I am back–typing away and sharing my thoughts and experiences about college. Now that’s class.
For the majority of college students in Utah, school will begin in less than two weeks. Eeeeeek! That is not much time! I hope that you’ve taken the time to make those savvy school purchases. I saw a great deal the other day–200 sheets of premium filler paper (college-ruled, mind you) for one cent.
Most of you have already registered for classes. However, before you set your schedule in stone, consider the following … oh fine, I’ll use the magic word. Please consider the following:
- Take off the blinders. Too many students think that they think they know what they want from college. Rather than recognizing the full range of classes at the college or university, their narrow view leads them to a limited number of possible courses from which to choose (notice how I didn’t end my sentence with a preposition–classy). They feel they should only take classes that fit their interests and academic plans. Boy, was I a victim of this error! Take off the blinders and take into account the captivating courses that are at your university
- No-no #1: Staying within your comfort zone. People, people, people! For some reason we humans have this knack for sticking in our comfort zone. Instead of taking some radically new or different class, most students would take a pass and stick to the classes they think they will like and do well in. Is that a real education? Hardly. A real education should confront us with new ideas and perspectives. In a recent poll, graduates expressed that if they were to repeat their college experiences they would take more classes, take more diverse classes, and do more research. In other words, they would take advantage of opportunities that would challenge their preconceptions.
- No-no #2: Not all professors are created equal. Classes do not only differ in subject, but also in quality of teaching. Do your homework! Many universities ask students to evaluate the performance of their professors that semester. Oftentimes, these anonymous results are available for review. If not, Rate My Professors is a great tool for students to obtain information of possible professors. It really doesn’t matter the subject matter, a teacher can make or break the class. Remember that professors are not rewarded for teaching well. Those professors that do teach well and those that are devoted to undergraduate studies do so out of the goodness of their hearts.
- Do-do #1: Visit classes this first week of class. If you are like me and weren’t able to register for classes early, you were left with the classes nobody wants to take; every class you wanted was already full. I cried. Really. However, if there is one thing I know, it’s this: some of your fellow students will drop the class you want. Therefore, this week, attend the classes you want to take and watch the statistics of those classes like a dingo watches a baby. You even might consider asking the professor for an override number after sitting through the first class. You certainly will be surprised what some professors will do to accommodate students. Plus, you get to sample these classes and determine if they really are for you.
All in all, be liberal with your education. Get a good breadth. You may be surprised what you like and dislike. What do you have to lose?
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or comments and I will get back to you on them as soon as possible!
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