Monday, January 26, 2015

On Electives in College: Discover Your Passion

When leaving high school and picking your college program, you hopefully have a solid idea of what you want to do as a career. But when choosing your college courses, you may find yourself having to take mandatory electives, or courses that seem to have little to nothing to do with your chosen profession, or else don't cover an area of the career you're interested in doing. Basically, they're the equivalent to that subject in high school you weren't good at, only in a post-secondary setting. You may wonder why you have to take them, but they shouldn't be written off. College is all about giving you necessary job skills, so you're taking those classes for a reason. These reasons include…

Those skills may prove useful later
Just because you're not fond of what a course teaches doesn't mean you won't need it eventually. For example, if you're in journalism, you may be disinterested in photography, but have to take it as part of the program. Maybe you're bad at photography, or uninterested, and don't intend to do it as a part of your subsequent career. But in a field that requires everyone to be multimedia savvy, you may find yourself called on to be a photojournalist anyway, and when that time comes, you'll be grateful to have the skills, even if they were begrudgingly acquired. Indeed, if you're not good at the subject, it becomes even more important that you study it, like it or not. Furthermore, not having those skills may cause you to be locked out of the jobs you really want, so the college is simply avoiding killing your career before it even begins.

You can keep your interests varied
Maybe you have interests outside of your chosen career path that aren't covered in your program. Electives can be a way of keeping your interests in your life while making them a part of your education. After all, not all of your education has to pertain to directly advancing your career. Your happiness is important, too, and a course about your non-career-related interests can be a welcome breather between your dryer academic pursuits. It may even be the key to an unknown future path, too.

You may discover your true passion
In the long run, you may discover your program of study isn't the best fit for you. It happens, and the important thing is knowing when to change tracks and choose a program that does suit you. One method of finding that is through your electives. If there was something you liked better than your main program, it may turn out to be the career for you.

So, don't grumble about taking a few electives. Indeed, experiment a bit and choose some odd things you have no prior experience in, and aim towards expanding your marketable skills. You have no idea the strange things you're good at until you try, and you never know what will enhance your career, or lead you to a new one.

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