Getting the Most out of Your Core Classes

Hey, Hounds! We are already rolling into the third week of classes, and everyone is settling in to their final schedules. Many of you are probably completing some core classes this semester. If you think core classes are something to just “get out of the way” think again! Core classes build a foundation for more complex courses you’ll take through college and will give you skills you’ll need in school, in the workplace, and in everyday life.

Maybe you aren’t going into a career field that seems to require heavy math skills. Why should you be taking math as part of your core? Consider the critical thinking and problem solving skills you gain in a math class. Here you’ll learn to look at a problem, consider different avenues of solving it, and identify which is the best way to solve it. These skills will do you well when trying to conquer something new, work with fewer or different resources than you expected, and doing so much more. Plus, it’s always important to be able to figure out the tip at a restaurant.

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Perhaps you don’t think you’ll ever need to write an essay or a research paper again after college. So why do you need English? This is one major way you’re going to learn effective communication skills. No matter what you do in your future, you will always need to be able to communicate effectively in face-to-face interactions and in writing. Consider how much of your communication now is done via text and email. English and writing courses will help you learn how to communicate what you need and what you think in a way that is clear and concise. Everyone has enough on their plates. If you can communicate effectively with others, explaining yourself multiple times won’t be one of them.

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And we can’t stress enough the importance of humanities courses. As contributing members of society, it is so important that we all have some idea of what’s going on in the world locally and globally. The core humanities courses you take will help you grow your global awareness and hopefully help you realize the importance of staying informed with what’s going on in the world. These classes will help you figure out where you stand relative to history and other cultures and how you can affect the world around you.

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Further, if you haven’t declared a major yet or are not sure you’re passionate about the major you’ve chosen, core classes are an excellent way to explore your options. These classes will give you an idea of what is at the heart of different majors. Take advantage of this opportunity to try something new. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with a field you’d never considered before!

If you have a positive attitude about your core classes you are bound to get the most out of them. The skills you’ll gain from them are invaluable and will help you develop into a better learner, worker, and citizen. The next time you text someone to make dinner plans, discuss current events or how the work you’re doing is making a change in the community, and figure out what to tip your server at the end, don’t forget to thank your core class professors.

By Beth Teague
Beth Teague Graduate Assistant Beth Teague