For many students college is the first time they get to choose an elective. This is an exciting time in a student’s education because they have some control over what they want to learn and what topics they want to explore. Pursuing a variety of elective classes is a great way to gain a diverse education, especially for students who have yet to select a major. In many cases, students learn more about themselves and what they want to do for a career by sampling different elective courses.
Learn a New Language
Learning a second language is a wonderful skill to market to future employers, making it an obvious choice to take as an elective. Aside from the practical elements of being bilingual, when students learn a second language they will have more opportunities to travel and experience different cultures, often adding to the quality of their life in general. Students should not expect to be fluent after taking a year or two of college level language classes, but they can become conversational and learn more about how to read and write if they keep their studies up after the end of the course.
Unlock Your Creativity
Another great option is to take an art or music class. Most students will not have had the opportunity to experience the arts on a regular basis while in high school, so college is a great opportunity to take an art class or two. Most colleges and universities have art and music for non-majors so students need not worry about being compared with someone who has been studying creative topics their whole life.
Try Something Outside of Your Major
Some students will know what they want to do for their career from day one of their freshman year. If that’s the case, choosing an elective outside of that major is a great way to meet a variety of different students and get to know what the entire campus has to offer. The first two years of college are a great opportunity for students to sample different options, because there will be plenty of time to focus entirely on their major during junior and senior year.
Try a Class That Has a Social Element
A large number of a student’s required courses will be held in a large lecture hall where they are mostly sitting, listening, and taking notes. Electives are a chance to take a course where there is a social element where students can work together on team projects or engage more in class discussions. Most of these opportunities take place in classes that have a smaller number of seats, so they might fill up fast. If students want to know which classes offer more of a social element they should visit one of the student advisors on campus, who can provide great advice about each course.