How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

You enter college thinking it’s about taking courses on topics you want to study, not more general education requirements.

In reality, most of your first two years of college are spent taking these mandatory classes (aka your “gen ed” courses). Like most things in life, there are pros and cons when it comes to these required subjects.

For example, when you’re undecided on your major general education can help you figure out what classes interest you. Sometimes the topics we think we’re passionate about–or think we should be passionate about–don’t really interest us at all.

Either way, since gen eds are a must-do for graduating from college let’s talk about what you can do to make the most of them.

 

How to Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

How to Actually Enjoy Your General Education Classes in College

 

Find Out Who Teaches the Class (Before You Sign Up)

If you haven’t already heard of it, Rate My Professors is the website that will become the game-changer to your college experience. You just plug in the name of a professor into their search box (or the name of your school) and you’ll find reviews/ratings of their classes from your fellow students.

Obviously, you should use your best judgment with the reviews. Not every review is reflective of the professor. The students’ effort affects their experience in class too. However, it’s great for getting a rough idea of the experience. If every single rating for a professor is 1 out of 5 or you discover all of the reviews mention an impossible grading system, you probably don’t want to take that class.

I always used Rate My Professors when it came to my gen eds. What did I get out of it? I met some professors that I genuinely loved learning from because they made the class fun.  


Choose Topics that Grab Your Attention

Even though they’re required courses, you get to choose which classes to take. There is still a lot of wiggle room when it comes to general education. Not a fan of geometry? Take a statistics class to fulfill your math requirement. Don’t want to take another American History 100 class? Consider a class in art history or an area of history that interests you.

The more engaged you are in the topic, the better you’ll do in class. It’s just easier when you like what you’re learning. Who knows, you might even decide to switch majors after taking. That’s why colleges recommend you don’t put off these courses. You might discover a new opportunity or passion in life…or discover your current major isn’t the path you wanted to take after all.

If you take these classes early on, there’s still plenty of time left to change your major or figure out what industry excites you.

 

Don’t Make it Too Hard on Yourself

Not a morning person? Think carefully before you sign up for that 8 am MWF class. Like I mentioned earlier, you should choose your classes based on what subject matter interests you. Not on the convenience, availability, or how easy you think it will be.

Some courses might fit better into your schedule, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. If you think about it, each class costs you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Why take something that is a total bore and waste of your time?

In order to make the most of your general education, don’t take a class that will make you miserable. Or if you take the class and realize it’s not for you, drop it ASAP before the cutoff date.

 

Talk to Your Classmates

Your gen eds are a great place to meet people outside your major. Engage with your classmates!

You can find amazing new friends and create relationships with people. Once you get to your junior year of college, the rest of your classes will mostly be with the same group of people. General education courses can introduce you to cool friends you may not have met on campus otherwise.

Five mistakes to avoid when buying textbooks online

Often times people whoare trying to buy the textbooks they need for their classes, they will make a mistake…. and often times a very costly mistake. Textbooks can be expensive and places that buy books back from you often will give you a mear fraction of what you paid. You’d be lucky to find a place that will give you your money back within 30-days, but even then if you have purchased your books well in advanced (like the punctual person you are!) then you might not be able to refund all the money you just spent. Here are the most commonly made mistakes when purchasing books online:

  1. Make sure you get the right version. It’s extremely common practice for textbook publishers to keep the same cover to a textbook when they change editions, so if you are purchasing a book online make sure you confirm that you are looking at the correct edition for your class… don’t assume just because it looks like the right book that it is. And always remember, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”
  2. Fail to use the ISBN search. Textbook stores like textbooknova.com and a few others allow users to search for their book based on the ISBN (either a 13 or a 10 digit number to uniquely identify a book). Using an ISBN search is the number one most accurate way to find your textbooks, and if you are on a website that doesn’t allow you to do ISBN look-ups, don’t even bother spending any more of your time (or money) on that marketplace!
  3. Fail to match the title of the textbook. Another frequently made mistake among textbook buyers is that they do not match the exact title that is required for the class. There could be a billion textbooks called “Chemistry” but if your class needs the book “Earth Chemistry” or any variation like that then you need to make sure you are looking at buying the correct book.
  4. Price shop around! Often you will be able to find the correct book, but if you fail to attempt to find your book at a few other marketplaces, you might end up spending way too much money! Make sure you do your due diligence to find the marketplace with the best price for the textbook before you buy it online. Fortunately for you, if you are searching Textbook Nova then you can rest assured that we offer some of the most competitive prices available.
  5. Buying a used copy without checking for the quality. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve tried to save money by purchasing a used textbook, only to find out half way through the semester that someone had torn pages out on an important chapter. How many times have you seen someone bored in class doodling inside their book? Who even knows where that textbook has been! If you are buying used textbooks online, make absolutely sure you can check to see the quality of the used book and try to find the ones closest to new.

We hope these tips have been helpful for anyone purchasing books online, and hope you have a great semester of classes!