For many students, choosing elective classes may be an afterthought. However, as I look back on my own student experience, the choices I made for my elective courses led me to take the most interesting, memorable, and useful courses during my time in college. Whether it was learning about global affairs through graphic novels, discussing horror literature, or gaining perspectives on cultures different from my own, I still refer to those classes and the great experiences I had in those electives. I recently asked current students to reflect on their favorite electives they have taken so far. Here are some themes I noticed from our shared experiences which may help you pick the best elective for you!
Educate yourself about important issues unrelated to your major
Ohio State’s motto is “Education for Citizenship” and being an educated citizen is essential for every Buckeye. Electives can provide you the opportunity to learn about important social issues so that you can be more informed about the world around you. Donisha Austin, a second year student, described her experience taking SOCIOL 2367.02–Urban Social Problems. Donisha notes that students should consider this class because it was “intellectually stimulating.” Another elective, SOCIOL 3302–Technology and Global Society, helped second-year student Raphael Melke “think critically in a fun way” through engaging discussions about an important topic. Find those classes that will make you think about new ideas that are completely unrelated to your major so that you can be an informed citizen.
Gain important skills that will help you in life
Your major courses will help you master a particular discipline; however, your elective courses can equip you with other essential skills. Many students choose to take classes such as COMM 2110–Principles of Effective Public Speaking. Justine Moran took this class and said that it was a “great way to learn how to effectively speak in front of a group of people.” Whether you are looking to gain skills regarding public speaking, leadership, or even learning CPR, there are electives which can prepare you to be successful in all aspects of your life.
Learn about history and culture through different lenses
Many of us learn about history and cultures through textbooks in high school. While textbooks are certainly not foreign to college classrooms, many professors look to use unique mediums to teach students about complex topics. Lexi Hites took GERMAN 3252–The Holocaust in German Literature and Film. She enjoyed learning about an important historical event through movies and books. Jessica Gregory took SLAVIC 2230–Vampires, Monstrosity, and Evil: From Slavic Myth to Twilight, and loved learning about a different culture through the lens of films like “Dracula.” Find classes like these where you get the chance to look at important topics in unconventional ways.
Take a class just for fun!
Believe it or not, there are courses which will seem so fun you will look forward to going to class. Third-year student Jenna Murray is taking DANCE 2181–Social Dance this semester because she wants to learn ballroom dance. She enjoys that she gets to earn elective credit while exercising and having fun. For many of you, your class schedule may seem daunting. Taking a class just because you think it will be fun is a great way to get some elective credit, learn about something you love, and enjoy your time in class.
Of course, there are too many great electives to talk about in one post. Comment with some of your favorite electives below and let us know about your most memorable classes!