Most of us are thinking the same thing: When fall semester comes, so will the dread. General education classes can seem like a drag, especially when it’s 16 weeks long, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Some courses here, if you can almost believe it, can actually be personally useful, fun, or both. Here are some listed below.
1. BUSA 71 – Personal Financial Planning
Some of us just aren’t good with money. It’s college, we have jobs, and we tend to throw the money we earn left and right. This class is meant to help you create personal goals for your finances and the plans to achieve them, and most important of all, you can learn about the thing you never got to in high school: taxes.
2. Any physical education class
If you find it difficult to get out of the house and go to the gym, there’s no better motivation to work out than for a grade. While most of the kinesiology classes will help in that aspect, some do have techniques you can take home, like yoga or Pilates.
3. SPCH 26 – Interpersonal Communication
Interpersonal communication focuses on one-on-one communication. The class teaches a wide range of lessons that can affect communication, from self-concept to nonverbal cues. Some things I found particularly useful from this class were conflict management in both work and personal life, as well as a unit on how to best present yourself when searching for a job. The class also involved many instances of self-disclosure for me and my classmates that allowed us to really learn about each other, which created a warm environment rather than one where you never talk to your classmates as usual.
4. SPCH 20 – Argumentation and Debate
It’s always nerve-wracking to talk in front of a class, but to actually debate someone too? While the idea of that does strike fear, the class is meant to strengthen critical thinking skills and highlights the importance of having a civil discussion about issues. It also focuses on persuasion methods that you generally don’t learn about in a basic public speaking class or in English.
5. LIT 15 – Introduction to Cinema
It is exactly what it sounds like. You watch, study, and analyze movies for class. If you love film, this class is perfect for you.
6. A theater class that involves acting
Stage fright haunts us almost everywhere we go, whether it’s at a speech for class or presenting at work. The perfect way to get over the anxiety? Actually act in front of people. By acting, you’re forced to learn how to handle your own stage fright and apply those skills to other parts of your life.
7. MUS 13 – Introduction to Music Appreciation
This is a class examining the history of music, from medieval times to what we listen to today. That may sound boring to some — until you realize you have to attend a live concert for it. Many people have told me this was a fun class and not like any other course that you can take here.
With the amount of classes that Mt. SAC offers, it’s easy to get lost in them and not realize you can have fun while you’re here. Yes, general education and major-required classes can be boring. But to truly make your time at Mt. SAC worth it, you should take advantage of the prices and take classes, especially the ones above, that can give you skills that stretch far beyond just the years you spend in school — or are just plain fun.