COLUMN: The financially draining filler courses


I hope to pursue a career in journalism. However, before I can write columns and create story packages for news, I’m required to know about derivatives and the life of King Arthur.

When I eventually begin working in my field, I can say with utter assurance I won’t ever encounter a dire situation where an entire semester of calculus knowledge will be needed for me to succeed.

The same goes for my King Arthur class. Unless I’m one day tasked with the mission of making a King Arthur documentary, I doubt I’ll ever need to know about the intricacies of his relationship with the fair maiden Guinevere.

College is full of these “filler courses” that are simply labelled as prerequisites meant to enhance our level of general education, and I find them to be a waste of time and money.

If I spent as much time in courses pertaining to journalism as I did in these filler courses, I’d probably be walking out of here with all the experience and knowledge I need to begin my career by now.

Instead, we needlessly spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to stretch our time here in college to four years. It’s important to note, however, I’m not opposed to a four-year college structure if the information we’re being taught is actually relevant to our majors and planned careers.

Sadly, that’s the problem. A fair amount of the information we’re taught is irrelevant to us. As a journalism major, I could care less about matrices in finite or formulas for calculus. I’ve done math all my life, and I think I can safely say I have far more knowledge pertaining to it than I’ll ever need.

A huge problem with these irrelevant filler courses is we throw the knowledge we gain from them to the side just weeks after passing the class.

Personally, I know that I’ve forgotten a lot of the information I learned in filler courses. I couldn’t even tell you what a derivative is now, but at least I can say I passed the calculus course.

The problem is I spent so much time working on it. I spent plenty of time going to lectures and doing the dreaded WebWork assignments. Since passing the class, I haven’t encountered any math problems surpassing the difficulty of basic algebra.

I feel that these classes are meant to just take up space in our schedules so that we can only take a few classes that are useful to our majors at a time. The university’s only defense of such sabotage is that it provides us with the ever-so-coveted “well-rounded” education.

In reality, these courses are just a waste of our time and money. We came to college for experience and knowledge that will help us thrive in our careers. We didn’t come to learn information that we’ll never use again, and we certainly didn’t intend to pay so much for it.

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