Find a place for non-major classes


The fall semester is quickly approaching and hopefully your class schedule is ready to roll. You’ve got everything perfectly timed, right down to time spent on campus and walking distance.

However, no matter what year you are, there’s always dread of getting an email notifying you that one of your required courses has been cancelled.

Most insurance companies require you to be a full-time student to stay covered. Just last week, my perfect 12-hour schedule was changed due to the low number of students enrolled in a course I need to graduate by next year.

Fortunately for me, another class was available to replace it, with minimal damage to my schedule, but others might be less fortunate. I know because I’ve taken many “placeholder classes,” as I call them, in order to maintain a 12-hour semester.

If you’re finding yourself in this same situation and can’t fit another required course into your schedule, here are a couple of suggestions on what classes to take that will be more of an exciting endeavor rather than just a time filler.

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an actor? I’m sure that’s not a subject they cover in your biology major. You might have the “it” factor they’re looking for that no one else in the department has.

Fine arts classes offer a rare opportunity to reflect on something dear to you. Courses in film and even pop music are available. By the end of the semester, you should be able to answer that icebreaker question about why you like a particular movie or music without the standard answer, “Because it’s good.”

The same goes for English classes, whether writing compositions or reading literature. One class task is to read the novel “Gone with the Wind,” which is a greater college challenge than taking advanced trigonometry. Everyone has a story to tell and all it takes is an incentive to write the next best seller or even a simple poem for a loved one.

The rock group The Monkees once sang about taking a giant step outside your mind and you should do just that with classes that are out of the ordinary. One example is taking American Sign Language courses, in particular classes taught by Lorita Slieter. She is deaf.

It’s an interesting exercise not having to use your hearing and listening skills to understand the instructor. You may not have many encounters with those who are deaf, but the experiences in the classes are well worth it.

Whether you need a placeholder for another class, a college-bound challenge or just an incentive to do something creative, take a couple of classes outside your major. The opportunities only come around once. So, just like the end of a late night infomercial, I say act now and request for these “placeholder classes” while supplies last.