Why Did I Do This to Myself?

A question I ask about my electives every semester

Megan Orr, Opinions Editor

It’s that time of year again! No, not Christmas (that’s next week’s issue) but time to choose courses for next semester. With registration well underway, you’ve probably carefully planned your courses and made the best possible selections given CapU’s limited offerings, right? Wrong! You haven’t chosen well, I can almost guarantee it. My advice: go for what is actually interesting to you, not what sounds useful.

I am in my fourth year of the Bachelor of Communications program, and my fifth (give or take a semester) year at CapU overall. I have made some many mistakes. The biggest one currently plaguing me is my choice in electives. I have once again made the slowly-killing-me-inside mistake of picking an elective that I thought would be useful. I was wrong. Just, so wrong.

I won’t specifically call out this course, because that wouldn’t be in good taste, but we all know what I’m talking about. The course that has real world applications, the course that will teach you how to do x, y or z, or maybe even the course that you thought would be easy. These courses are a sham. You spend however many hundreds of dollars only to end up teaching yourself the content and at the end of the fourth month, you have learned and earned nothing but a dissatisfying A-. You don’t even deserve that mark. I mean, you’ll take it, but really?

That’s best case scenario, too. Worst case: you can’t even find the motivation to go to class because you know you’re just going to be working on other things the whole time anyway. Kiss those participation marks goodbye! Every assignment will feel like someone hand-wrote directions on a napkin and then ran the napkin under water. Does that say go right at the green church? I don’t know – you’re lost! Let’s not even talk about writing papers and tests when you’ve learned absolutely nothing, and oh sweet lord, is that another group project?!

You are better off taking the course that sounds interesting. So what if it’s not actually useful, at least you’ll be learning something. I have rather consistently shied away from anything that could possibly be challenging, but it’s been to my own demise. These are the years that we are supposed to be enriching our minds, and what I’ve mostly done is coast by, hoping no one will notice that I haven’t been to class in two weeks, because honestly, it’s hard to care about stuff that I just don’t care about.

The best classes I have taken were the ones that I wanted to take because they sounded fun or different. These are the things that have made me more well rounded as a person, not that random assignment on analytics that I still don’t know if I did right. At the end of the day it’s about being interested enough to put effort in, because employers will definitely notice if you don’t care and don’t show up. So if you are struggling to decide between an elective that sounds boring, but potentially useful, and one that sounds interesting, but potentially useless, take the interesting one. You will thank me later.

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