Shimer students engaged in classroom discussion
For liberal arts students, there are a lot of factors that can come into play when choosing electives. The weight of your course load, the availability and how close you are to graduating are all factors that can affect the way you select your elective courses.
Whether you're considering pursuing a liberal arts degree or you have already started your program, read on to learn how to choose electives that will enhance your liberal arts college experience!
Liberal Arts College Students Steer Clear of Easy Electives
Every student has been tempted to opt for an easy elective during their time at a small liberal arts college. Of course, contemplating this same thing is perfectly understandable, especially if you are taking a full course load and your classes are slightly more challenging during a particular semester.
However, there happens to be a catch to taking that less-challenging elective: you probably won’t do as well as you thought. Generally, when students choose a course that they assume will be easy, they tend to fare much worse in the class than they had originally suspected. This can be a result of many reasons; perhaps the student was not interested in the subject matter of the class, or maybe that student thought he or she already knew the material and chose not to study as much. In a liberal arts classroom, students tend to do well because of their ability to connect and engage with the material, not because the material is "easy.”
It’s important to remember that you will always be better off selecting elective courses that pique your interest, even if the subject has a reputation for being difficult.
Liberal Arts Peers Provide the Best Course Recommendations
No one is better equipped to help you choose an elective course than your great books college peers who have already completed electives of their own. If you are struggling to decide between two specific philosophy courses, asking someone who has already taken both might help you determine which best suits you. In fact, your peers may also be able to provide information on class materials and the teaching styles of certain professors, both of which can be very helpful during the decision-making process.
Enhance Your Liberal Arts Degree by Trying Something New
Select an elective course that you normally wouldn’t consider, you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. Challenging the brain with new and interesting information is a great way for students to discover hidden interests or talents. Additionally, since you will be branching out of your comfort zone, you will likely meet tons of new people and have the opportunity to expand your social network as well.
Never miss out on a chance to learn more about yourself and your interests. Choose an elective that sparks your curiosity and interests you, but one that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to explore in depth.